“Oh hello, little hat, all sad and alone,” I said to the hat I found on the floor next to the woman who appeared really excited, excited because she was decided on committing her first act of adultery very soon. I found out about that later, the woman’s excited appearance and other sordid details, from secondhand sources whose veracity I know I can trust. The adulterous woman wasn’t even with anyone else yet, just standing there in such a way that suggested she was anxious and excited to meet someone who would help her commit adultery. It wasn’t me. I was much too much enthralled with the hat I’d found on the floor. Plus, she didn’t seem interested, a fact I attribute to my speaking to the hat. But what could I do, the hat was gorgeous. It was unmistakably gorgeous, and to think someone had just let it fall there. Truly, a terrible thing.

Someone claimed they had seen the woman place it at its spot on the ground, possibly assuming whoever first came upon it would question her as to its owner. An opening she could then exploit to seduce said person and soon begin adulterous acts. An individual later told me I was too smitten with the hat to notice she’d dropped it right in my path. I was told the individual following me made overtures to the woman about the strangeness of my behavior, and that the woman immediately, nearly physically, pounced on said individual and engaged with him in an affair. They’d moved somewhere far off, somewhere I couldn’t see, though the man was certain I wouldn’t have noticed, regardless. He could still descry, through a crack in the door of the room in which the woman was fellating him, my talking to the hat. He said I left wearing it on my head, which is true. I did.

I began wearing the hat all over the world. Our union brought with it love. Love. I therefore had nothing to call the hat than the obvious, “Love Hat.” I like to think in those early days, when my love hat was new on me, the folks we encountered would see us and smile, and then go off somewhere to make sweet passionate love to one another (in whatever way they wished).

I had known nothing of love as a child. I felt an abundance of it in terms of familial relations but none of the romantic kind. I remember my instructors explaining that these things would come in time, knowledge of what the nebulous experience called “love” was. The hat allowed for me to experience love for myself, a sudden lovely crescendo.

Love Hat, because of our combined talents, became a celebrity. I became a party to its celebrity and a minor one in my own right. Our unequal public standing did not strain our relationship. Other things did become problematic though, like the constant hounding by large numbers of fans and paparazzi. Stray dogs, in particular, loved us. Obvious problems.

And less obvious problems. Love Hat became distant and distrustful of everyone, including me. They all wanted its love. They all wanted. Myself included, although that might be obvious by now. Another obvious problem.

Worse was when Love Hat discovered it wasn’t famous, not really. Its fame was an elaborate hoax I’d concocted, paying people and dogs to give chase, imagining all the while Love Hat would feel vindicated and, perhaps, loved if it were made famous. Even if it were only pretend fame. But Love Hat instead became furious when I rode us around in circles, claiming we were to meet with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, to discuss among other things the impact of love on the looming elections of important governmental and non-governmental personages. We just continued riding around in circles, though. Wolf wasn’t expecting us.

Despite Love Hat’s lack of “real” fame there was an attempt on its life, once. We had a long heart to heart about the Wolf Blitzer fiasco, mending all points of contention. To complete the reconciliation, I told it I’d be the happiest man in the world if it’d simply allow me to walk around wearing it in the park. Love Hat agreed tacitly. And on our walk in the park we came upon a lectern in front of a gazebo, amid a pleasant garden. It seemed like a good time to preach the gospel of Love Hat, having the lectern and, also, the portable sound system we carried with us. We therefore did deliver the gospel, I through my mouth and Love Hat through me through my mouth.

Unfortunately, someone from a building above the park tried to snipe Love Hat. Fortunately, a post-menopausal woman of mid-fifties age listening to us speak screamed “UH-UHHHHH!” and flung her body in front of the bullet before it got to and greased Love Hat. Love Hat did spin around and around on my head a bit from the force of it all. The woman, dying on the ground, said she’d done it for love, gave her half of life yet lived. She did.

As these things go, one day a strong breeze came and lifted Love Hat off of my head and into a tree. I couldn’t get it down. I threw a rock. I consulted a passer-by. I tried to steal a ladder. I was chased by a fireman. I shook the immovable tree.

Love Hat wouldn’t be shook loose.

It was just as well, though, I decided. It had started putting evil thoughts in my head. It had a propensity for evil equal to its propensity for love. It told me to drown kittens. It was good that it had flown off my head before I’d gotten my hands on very many kittens at all. Or possibly none? My memory becomes very sketchy post-Love Hat.

Today it rests above me. Smug and covered with all kinds of love and bird leavings.