I am nearing the end of Victor Klemperer’s gripping diary, indispensible for an understanding of Nazi Germany or of what life is like for civilians who bear the brunt of an air war, and have come upon a passage I have to commemorate here:
Yesterday evening, when we stepped out of Mayer’s into utter darkness, the wind tore the hat Agnes had given me from my head and blew it away. No chance of finding it again, we began to grope our way back… Suddenly in the darkness I saw something even darker, nudged it with my foot—it really was my hat. I should very much like to take the utterly unexpected rescue of the hat as an omen for the head which goes with it.
(I have taken the liberty of cleaning up a couple of minor errors; I don’t know whether they’re typos, editing mistakes, or bad decisions by the translator, but I don’t think Klemperer’s tightly written, effective anecdote deserves to be marred by them, with or without [sic]s attached.)