Howard’s Shirt

About a year ago my brother-in-law left a flannel, quilted lined shirt at my house.  Once, I tried to give it back to him.  He told me to keep it.  So, I did.  It came in handy this winter as it was the perfect weight and size to wear over my usual winter garb, a long sleeve turtle-neck tee-shirt when I puttered around the house.  One day, I forgot that I had it on. For my amusement and that of my brother-in-law I wrote the following.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

                This is the tale of how Howard’s shirt went to college.  Mary wore Howard’s shirt nearly every day when the temperature outside dipped below forty and hovered around sixty-five or so in the house.  She hardly ever wore Howard’s shirt outside of the house, unless it was under a heavy winter coat that she wore on blustery days as she walked to church.

                One morning, Mary had to leave the house very early to get to the dental clinic housed in the college where she worked part-time.  Her head was not on particularly straight that morning.  She must have taken the milk out of the frig and put it back in three times before she realized that she had already put milk in her tea which by then was getting cold. Reading the paper and listening to classical music on the radio while she ate breakfast was what she did every morning.  Because she had to go to the clinic and not to church, she ignored the  announcement on the radio that normally signaled time for her to leave the house.  When consciousness did kick in, Mary realized that she was running late.

                Mary grabbed her lunch bag, a handful of post, her pocketbook and keys and rushed out of the front door.  She remembered to lock the front door, but forgot to change Howard’s shirt for a nice, black feminine jacket.  Instead, she found herself driving to the college in her hardly ever washed, spotted, cuffs rolled, Howard’s shirt.  After spit-cleaning a few smudges, rolling the cuffs down, straightening the collar and mustering all of dignity a tall, gray-haired woman could, Mary exited the parked car, locked it and started across the college campus to her destination, wearing Howard’s shirt.  And, that is how Howard’s Shirt went to college.


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