Losing things


Apollonia was inconsolable the other day.   She’d lost her new hand cream.  “I’m really unhappy,” she said.  “It had – precious ingredients.  It’s not the money, mind you.  It’s just the idea that it’s gone.”



“I understand,” I said.  “Beauty aid, right?  You can’t afford to lose one of those.”



“I can’t believe,” she said, ignoring me, “that someone would take it.”



“What precious ingredients?” I said.  “Walnut oil? Cream cheese? Unicorn tears?”



“Marshmallow,” she said, without irony. 



She was distraught and would not be comforted.  But I’d lost something too, that same day: my little micro-card reader, a little USB thing that I used

to transfer pictures from my camera to my computer.  It cost five bucks; surely no one would pilfer a thing like that.  Right?






Nah.  Apollonia and I had both misplaced our things, she her hand cream, me my card-reader. 



It’s hard to accept that your memory is fading.  I chase my coffee cup around the office like an escaped animal; it scampers away from me, and I find it again two days later on the second-floor photocopier.   Except, of course, that’s exactly where I left it, and where everyone thoughtfully let it lie, so that I could find it again.  (Who else in the office has a cup with pictures of Alan Turing and Gertrude Stein on it?  I mean, really.)



Partner loses his glasses frequently.  I lose my scissors, and my sewing needles, and my nice blue titanium Cross pen that I won in the Financial Times crossword competition.  (Most of the time we find them again.  I lost the pen for good in August, but I won another one a few weeks later, so I can pretend that everything is fine.)



The young things around the office are amused, I’m sure, at our antics.



They can just wait.  It’ll happen to them too.



And please to remember the following magical incantation, which sometimes works:



Something’s lost that can’t be found.

Please, Saint Anthony, look around!


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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