Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer
Life After Emilee Logo | Neal Klein honoring his wife after losing her to pancreatic cancer

My Hat and The Whistle

I committed the cardinal sin. When I took my seat on the LIRR to go from Penn Station to Babylon, I put my hat on the overhead rack. I already had my backpack on the seat next to me. I figured I would squish it or it would fall on the floor. I put it overhead, saying, remember it is up there.

End of train ride, I get up, put my back pack on and I was involved in checking the Uber and Lyft car situation, looking at my phone, and forgot to look up. If I had, I would have seen my hat. I stepped out of the train onto the platform. I took five steps and realized. My hat.

The doors had closed but the train was still sitting there. I yelled a few times. Understand that I have a decent voice for yelling. I sing. I scream at home sometimes. I can yell. I did. Nothing. No response. So, I got serious. I carry a whistle, a good one. I blew it. Repeatedly. Nothing. Nada. No conductor looked or said anything. I saw no one.

I should have walked to the front of the train. I didn’t think of that at that moment. I blew and blew and blew the house down. No, I am serious. I blew till I was tired of blowing. If I was being attacked or having an attack of some sort, I was a goner. I would have been dead. And there were cops downstairs. No response by anyone. Scary. And then, the train started to leave, no doors ever reopened, and my hat was now traveling solo.

Now, about that hat. Emilee bought me that hat when we were in Maine, I think. Or, she got it for me a few years ago. I don’t remember. Either way, it was from her, and it had meaning on a couple of levels. It was an attachment to her, and it was my favorite hat that I always wear in the rain to keep my head dry and keep the rain off my glasses. The hat also has a cord that I keep tucked inside it which is for tying around my chin if it is so windy that it will blow off.

It is a good hat. It is my Indiana Jones hat. I love that hat. I know not to get too attached to things. They are things. But some things grow on me and they are my buddy. My friend. My companion. An extension of me. They help make me less lonely. They give some small comfort. I liked that hat a lot. I don’t remember the brand name. It had mesh around the top, so it would breathe and not get too warm. It was pretty water resistant. It looked like Indiana Jones’ hat. I really enjoyed wearing it. I felt comfortable wearing it and I don’t like that many hats. I will miss my hat if I don’t get it back. I felt a twinge in my stomach as it traveled away down the tracks by itself.

I looked up the LIRR lost and found info. I tried to access the lost item form to fill out, but I could not get it to open on my phone. It said, “Not available.” I called the number. I got a person. He said fill out the online form. I said I couldn’t get to it on my phone. He didn’t say, oh you must use your laptop. I figured that one out for myself. I filled out the form today. I have a claim number, but it can take days before the item gets to the lost and found, if ever.

So now I wait. And if it does show up, I think I must go to Penn station to retrieve. If it shows up. My poor hat. I should have gotten it a tattoo id like the dogs have. Or even a microchip. Then I could have tracked it. But it is on its own. It is, however, my Indiana Jones hat. Maybe it will be clever and know what to do to find the lost and found and not get found by someone else who likes Indiana Jones hats. I can hope, right?

Stay tuned. Emilee, can you pull a couple of cosmic strings? I really liked that hat. I will practice letting go, if it is necessary. I am sad that the hat and I are separated. I really liked my hat. I am so thankful you gave it to me. I took such good care of it. I was careless and made a mistake. Funny, how some things matter. How I don’t even realize how much something not all that significant, matters. I guess it is a connection to you Em. And, separation, abandonment, and loss seem to get stirred up sometimes by seemingly insignificant things. They really aren’t insignificant I guess. It is the connection. I loved you. I like the hat, but I loved you. Losing it gives me a lump in my throat. I really blew my whistle. I never used it that much before. I never blew it full force because it hurts my ears. I blew, and no one listened. That is not good. Not safe. What if that was someone being attacked? Not good.

I hope my hat finds its way home. Em, are you listening? I will let go if I must. But, I don’t want to. Hurts.

Neal Harvey…good day.

nmitchk@aol.com

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