A few weeks before my brother Bill's last Christmas, he and I went to buy a Christmas tree. It was not a merry time in his household.
It was drizzling, and the sky was that uniquely bleak color that on a paint chip might be called "Chicago gray," when I ran into a friend. We were both out for a solitary walk. "What are you up to?" She tilted her umbrella and glanced skyward.
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I wanted that yellow coat the way you might want an oxygen mask when the plane is going down. This was several years ago, on a cold and gray when assorted worries were pecking at my mind.