John loved his sweater. He loved it more than any other piece of clothing. He loved it like some people love their sports teams, and like other love their knitting.
John’s sweater was grey, made of a cotton and polyester blend. It fit him snugly, and was just thick enough to be warm without making him look pudgy.
He wore his sweater almost every day. People came to know John by his trademark grey sweater, and the days he wasn’t wearing it, the days it was in the wash, were days when they asked him if he was okay, if his sweater, long since pilled and ragged beyond proper wearing, had finally bit the dust. But the next day, they same him in it again, happily tugging on the sleeves or sticking his hands in the small pocket in front.
He was an old man and still wearing that sweater every day, until the fateful newly-hired nurse in the nursing home, finding a ratty old rag in the sleeping man’s chair, discarded it. When John awoke, he searched high and low, but it wasn’t to be found. He wept for a day, and died the next; life without his favourite sweater just wasn’t worth living.
The nursing home had him buried with a new grey sweater, in hopes of undoing some of the spiritual damage, but mostly to avoid blame.