Coat: (n) an outer garment worn for warmth
Is it possible I was allergic? No–that’s not the word.
I certainly couldn’t stand to have a coat on until… well, very recently.
All through my teen years, my mother insisted I wear one to school, and I always removed it within ten feet from the door of our home, convinced, I think, that I would break out in a rash if I continued to wear it.
I don’t know whether it was a case of macho, or whether there was a part of me that believed that only wimps and Mama’s boys wore such outer protection.
In the winter months in Ohio, I went with short sleeves.
I once found a sweater I liked for a while–but then my older brother claimed it as his own and I never saw it again.
There was something powerful about remaining chilly. Even as a man, in the wintertime I would find a sunshiny day and play tennis in shorts and a tank top.
I always loved the question, “Aren’t you cold?”
Hell, no. I’m hot, Mama.
I guess that was the thing. I suppose I was trying to communicate to the females around me that I was a furnace. A blazing fire of love.
Or maybe it wasn’t that at all.
Maybe I hated the confinement. Because I was chubby, coats always fit me like a straight jacket–especially if I zipped them up. They were so tight I felt the garment was holding my organs in.
But of late I have changed my mind. The feeling of warmth coming on your skin, suddenly protecting it from chill and frost–it’s very comforting.
I enjoy it.
But, while wearing a coat, I still feel like Wimpy Boy Billy.