I’ve been losing things lately. Today I spent a good amount of time looking for poems I had written in the 90’s. They’re in a red folder and, for the life of me, I can’t put my hands on them. I decided to give up for the time being. Usually once I stop searching, the missing thing shows up. After digging through two drawers, a box in the bedroom closet and a bookcase, I stopped. So I sat back on my heels and announced that I wasn’t going to look anymore. I figure the poems are just playing hide and seek with me. They’ll turn up when I’ve forgotten all about wanting them.
This got me to thinking about how many other items disappear. I won’t use the term “gone missing”. It just bothers me somehow, especially when used to describe people. It implies that these missing people always had a choice in the matter. We know that this just isn’t true. Anyway, I digress. I’m not talking about socks either. Plenty has been written about those. I mean bigger stuff, expensive things. I lost my digital camera once for two months. I searched high and low only to find it on top of a bookcase with the binoculars. What was it doing there? It usually lives in a drawer in the living room. Was it lonely? I was sure I had been robbed.
No one will buy me earrings anymore. I inevitably lose one after only wearing a new pair once. I’ve thought about wearing different ones at the same time but I’m not sure what kind of fashion statement that would make. Perhaps it would scream, “This woman puts on her jewelry in the dark.” I keep the lone earring, always hopeful that the other will show up. I tend to lose more during winter because I catch them in my scarf. My supply of earrings is dwindling.
Shortly after buying a new car two summers ago, my ex-husband lost my spare key. He blamed me but I didn’t follow the logic. It was in his wallet, not mine. Anyway, getting a new key isn’t as easy as it used to be. No more running down to the hardware store and having a copy made for two or three bucks. Nope. Now you have to go to the car dealer and plunk down $150. For a lousy key! Someone explained to me that it was because of the computer chip. I still think it’s a racket. So now I’m always making sure I have my keys. I really should get an extra one but I always decide to buy groceries instead.
I know someone who misplaced his car for an entire week once. He thought it had been stolen. Turns out he and his family had just moved to a new house. One night he had indulged a little bit more than was good for him, drove to the old house, parked the car and left it there. His wife found it when she went to check the mail. The local police were not amused. Neither was his wife, to tell the truth. He never did it again.
One of the nice aspects of lost things is finding them. It’s great to put my hand in my coat pocket and find a ten dollar bill. I also like it when someone else finds my missing stuff. I live in a large condominium building and my neighbors will put found items on a table by the mailbox. You know the kind of things. Glove and scarves in the winter. Children’s shoes and toys in the spring and summer.
What’s my tally for this winter? I’ve lost one black glove, four earrings and some great ear warmers. I was hoping someone would turn those in but no such luck. The camera turned up. I still don’t know where the poems are but I believe that I’ll find them eventually. I put a prayer out to the gods of lost belongings. “Oh great and powerful gods (you have to flatter them) I search in vain for a red folder containing old poems. Any help would be appreciated. Oh and while we’re on the subject, have you seen my silver earring?”