This blanket is perfect for napping, if one could nap. Ideally one lies down mid-afternoon, with a blanket, and falls asleep, thereby improving mood and short-term memory. However, if one is an anxious type, one lies down and thinks:
My father bought me this blanket and it’s just perfect. Not too heavy, a little itchy but not much—oh, right, he bought me this awful Irish woolen outfit at the Irish Shop, and then I exchanged it for this blanket, which I was so relieved to see amidst the lace doilies and clover trivets. He bought me the outfit for Christmas when I was 23, and insisted I try it on right away because we needed to exchange it the next day if it didn’t fit. So I put it on and came down the stairs wearing a long navy-and-green plaid dirndl skirt with a high-collared ruffled blouse and a dark green popcorn-knit cardigan. That year I was teaching for the first time, and in that outfit I imagined that he imagined that I was teaching in a one-room schoolhouse on the prairie in the 1890s. In fact I was teaching creative writing at a university in Baltimore, and wore a lot of black, and thrift shop clothes. I was guilty of wearing lace-up ankle boots, which fit the prairie scheme. My father liked to think I resembled my Irish grandmother, and once, someone took a photo of me wearing red lipstick with blushing cheeks and my face turned a certain way and I did look like her. I had to return the Irish prairie dirndl outfit and I was grateful for the store credit that allowed me to buy the beautiful blanket, because what sort of graduate teaching assistant who killed cockroaches daily in a shared, rented, rundown rowhouse would be able to afford such a lovely thing?
Years later he gave me a silver chafing dish, and said he imagined I would be having departmental dinners, and this invoked a vision of the 1960s, my father with sideburns, and my mother with long straight hair and a ribbed turtleneck, and them serving beef stroganoff buffet-style on the dining room table for their guests. I feel collegial with my department, but my father was a few years late. We used to have our academic department over for dinner, with a pot of curry on the table buffet-style, and salad, and lots of wine. When we had the energy, we would host the welcome-back party in September, or the holiday gathering. But then a professor emeritus (retired, but still eternally attached to us) had a wheelchair-bound wife, and he sued the department for having official gatherings at a location without disability access. Now our parties occur on the top floor of our campus office building. The silver chafing dish remains tucked away in a cabinet. Someday when the war comes, I think, we’ll pull silver spoons and dishes out of cabinets, and barter them. We’ll beg for food, or our lives, proffering useless silver objects.
Thus napping becomes impossible.