Thanksgiving and Henry

15 Aug

My friend Henry is a loser.  The worst kind of loser: a coat loser.

Monday, October, 3:15PM, second grade: Henry gets off the bus and is greeted by his loving mother.  Anticipating fresh-baked cookies and a cold glass of milk, Henry skips toward his house when his mother breezily calls, “Henry, where is your coat?”  Henry, who managed to bring home his bookbag, lunchbox and homework, had not even realized he was coatless and replies, “I left it at school.”

“Get in the car,” says Mom.

Same day, October, 3:35PM, second grade cloakroom: empty.

Tuesday-Thursday, October:  Henry and his parents wait for the coat to be returned.  Henry wears a flannel shirt in the meantime.

Friday, October, end of day: the coat is officially dubbed “lost” and is replaced over the weekend.

October, 20 years later: Henry, a grown man who has graduated college,  forged a career in Manhattan, and experienced love and loss is on the phone with his parents.  He speaks with them simultaneously as they have many phones in their condo in Boca.  Having run out of small talk, Henry mentions that he bought a new winter coat.

“I hope you didn’t get a good one,” says Mom.  “You lose coats,” adds Dad.  “That coat from second grade was stolen,” counters Henry.

“Because it was a good one-” Mom.  “I hope you didn’t get a good one-” Dad.  “You lose coats-” Mom and Dad together.

And this is why Henry has come to dread Thanksgiving.

One Response to “Thanksgiving and Henry”

  1. Jonathan Broder August 16, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Renee, I too was a coat loser as a child. No one really understands the pain I carry with me to this day. PS – I like the new photo image (map) on your blog.

    A fan.

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