“I shouldn’t have had to ruin this umbrella by using it in the rain. A frying pan, or cookie sheet is never more perfect than when it hangs on a shelf in some kitchen notion shop. An umbrella in its stand is the idea of an umbrella, while the same object, flecked with sleet and turned half inside-out in a rough onslaught of November wind, is that idea put forth and the argument lost. Weather and time together win every debate they have ever staged, even against hearty teams such as steel, concrete, brick walls, and hope.”
The shop girl looked at me as if I hadn’t spoken. “Do you want this wrapped as a gift,” she said. So I suppose we understood one another after all. We lived on the borders of the wicked city, it was the first of November, and the weatherman’s promised gale had only just arrived.