A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2005, vol 1 no 3

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Ray Rasmussen

The Bathrobe

In the dream, I'm in a second hand-clothing store, wandering among endless racks of dress shirts and classy suits. Dust motes float in the dim light.

I notice a small room lit by a single overhead lamp. It contains but a single rack of elegant robes, each in vivid colors with fancy lapels, threads that James Bond might wear while seducing one of his many women. I reach for a plaid robe with bright red lapels ...

... Suddenly, I’m awake, anxious, in my moonlit bedroom.

I’m disoriented, but not so disoriented that I don’t know exactly what the dream portends. I glance at the hook on which my old robe hangs. Relief! Still there. If robe years are like dog years, it's older than me.

I can see the large patches where I've had a tailor salvage it after it grew some very large holes in the wrong places.

"Do you want exactly the same kind and color of cloth," I remember the tailor asking in an incredulous voice.

"No," I had said, "it's just a robe. Do your best."

Having had it patched doesn't relieve my present anxiety that it may one day disappear. When my wife looks at it, I see the rag basket in her eyes. When it falls to the floor, my dog sleeps on it.

Men reading this know that the robe and I won’t soon be parted. It's comfortable and unpretentious. Besides, my life isn't a Bond film. No one, besides my wife, cares whether a little flesh is hanging out here and there. And who else would see me as I stump around in it?

I pull the comforter over my head and drift back to sleep.

lucky moon—
even when waning no one
threatens to replace you


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