Brand is Zara; size medium. Lost at a nightclub called Red Garter, in Florence, late last Friday night. Possibly stolen.

Contents of pockets: one pair of black artificial-leather gloves, felt-lined; one pair of tortoiseshell Ray-Ban sunglasses (knock-off); one gray-and-black striped scarf; several lightly used tissues.

I don’t care much about the sunglasses or the scarf. It’d be nice to have the gloves back, since they were a Christmas gift from my mom. But I’ll take the coat back even with empty pockets.

I’d grown very attached to this coat because it kept me warm through a lot of cold nights in Florence, in Texas, and in California, and before that in Istanbul, where I bought it last October, the week my ex-girlfriend and I broke up. I went for a lot of long walks that week. One drizzly afternoon I was walking down Bağdat Caddesi, a long wide street with a lot of trees and shops and people, and I wandered into Zara because I felt like someone’s old laundry and wanted to buy myself something nice, and I tried on two different trenchcoats, a black one and a gray one, back and forth for about ten straight minutes, until finally I chose the gray one because I loved it most, and I walked out onto Bağdat Caddesi with my new gray trenchcoat in a brown paper bag, and by then it was dark and pouring rain and the bag got soaked through and fell apart, so I put on my new trenchcoat and turned up the collar and trudged home in the shop-lit night with the rain running down my face and shoulders and soaking through my shoes, and that coat made the whole scene seem like it made some kind of sense.

I wore the coat on the plane to Italy, too, once I’d sold my furniture and packed my bags and said goodbye to my friends in Istanbul. I wore it in Florence with the black-and-gray striped scarf when I walked next to the river and tried to think about something new, anything new, but could only think about the dreams I kept having every night, the ones where she was always there with her back turned and when I tried to talk to her she wouldn’t even turn and look at me, until I shouted myself awake again in my cold bedroom feeling sick and furious and completely numb all at the same time.

I wore it when I went out in the cloudy December mornings to order un cappuccino, per favore and stood at the bar to sip the hot coffee under the foam and felt a little touch of warmth in my chest.

I wore it on crisp see-your-breath nights when I went to meet new friends at the enoteca; when I laughed, finally, for what felt like the first time in months while we sat outside at the little wood tables and shared cheap bottles of red wine, until the enoteca closed and the old man brought out plastic cups and we poured our wine into those, and we strode home proudly on the cobblestone streets with our plastic cups in the air, singing and cracking jokes and leaning in close to the girls, and I took off the scarf so I could feel the winter breeze on my neck.

I wore it into clubs pounding with music, where it was too sweaty to keep it on anymore, so I took it off and left it on the sideboard and rolled up my sleeves while we stomped our boots on the dance floor and yelled like flamenco dancers when our favorite songs came on.

It was always there on the sideboard at the end of the night, right where I’d left it. Except for last Friday night, when it wasn’t.

What there were, instead, were a lot of other people’s coats, with a lot of angry people guarding them.

I very narrowly avoided a fistfight as I probed for my coat, so I went outside and got my friend to come back in and help me search for it, and the two of us narrowly avoided the same fistfight, so we threw up our hands we headed off into the night, him saying he was really sorry; me saying it was fine; that I didn’t feel all that cold tonight.



We went back to the club the next morning and asked a tired-looking waitress if she’d seen a gray trenchcoat, but she said nobody had left any coats there.

“I bet those guys stole it,” my friend said.

He meant some Italian guys at the club who’d wanted to fight us. They’d kept trying to put their hands on a girl we were with, and when I asked them to back off they’d gotten in my face with a lot of Italian yelling.

“I don’t think it was those guys,” I said. “I don’t see how they could’ve known it was my coat.”

Even if it was those guys, it doesn’t really matter.

At first I didn’t think I missed the coat that much. But today I put on a different coat and went out, and it doesn’t feel the same. It feels a little too new. It doesn’t have a collar that turns up.

Like I said, that gray trenchcoat was my favorite coat. I might not even wear it much anymore, come to think of it, now that it’s getting warmer out. But I still wish I had it around, just in case.

Let me know if you see it anywhere.

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