Losing it

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

I remember promising not to regale you with pitiful complaints about how this, the last portion of my life, is playing out, but since I’m in charge here, I’ll do what I please.
It’s this thing of losing stuff. Losing one’s car in a parking lot: that’s irritating but usually very brief.

Last time it happened to us, right here in the Kroger lot, a man who recognized me for what I have become: a ditzy old lady floating along in space and time,not knowing what the day or date it is. In spite of Dave’s skewering a hollow “golf ball” to the antenna of our small Toyota.
The previous contains a sentence fragment instead of a whole sentence, tell them lots of writers do this. It’s called poetic license and you point it out to them lest they think it is really OK.
(Note: if you are responsible in some way for children’s understanding that the above paragraph is legitimate. Tell them it is OK if you believe it to be.)

Now, where was I? Oh, the lost article. (See? Another sentence fragment. And another.)
I wear a tiny diamond on a thin gold chain around my neck. It has, of course, sentimental value, but there’s no point getting into that here. I worry enough that somehow that diamond will catch in my clothes and drop without my feeling it, and where do you start retracing your steps of the last week or when it seems to have gone missing? Before my next shower, Dave and I both went through all the little places in our room where something like that might hide, to no avail.

What I haven’t mentioned is that the chain was still intact around my neck. Several times we went over the same hidey-holes, just hoping the light might glint from a different angle. After about a week, I essentially gave up finding it and was putting on a cotton shirt when the little gem leaped out and over the collar. No explanations, no smug grins. It was back where it belonged.

Now, there are several answers to the question of “Where did it go?”
1. Obviously, if I knew that, it would no longer be lost.
2 . And of course there is the comment, “That is the last place I’d have looked for it.”
3. Aliens? I really don’t believe in them, thanks.
4.Where, then? “I’d look for it, but.” A cop-out here.

Oops, have I mentioned what this lost object is? A large-sized bottle of coffee creamer, gone since the first week of May. Really.
I keep it on a deep door shelf of the refrigerator and call it the breakfast drawer. It is incredibly large, big enough to hold a dozen orange-juice cans I keep in the freezer drawer, supposedly guaranteed for life.
(Guaranteed ? To do what, and whose life, and how will anyone know?)

None of us can see every detail exactly, never having been there before. We are in a pleasant motel in Holmes Beach, Fla, “we” being Dave and me, Mary and Rainer, Jean and her two boys – a vacation involving seafood, sand, reading, movies, possibly a dash into the surf – life is good.
Off on a tangent, Sal. Come back into the real world. Find my lost creamer (Vanilla, please.) It was in my hand when I got it from the back of the fridge. This is no longer funny. We searched every place it couldn’t be, plus as many more as it could.

I looked in all the right places, about half the time in the rain.
Checked out the boat, the cars, and the motor home. Then the screened porches. My hand was empty whenever I withdrew it from a shadowy den.

Normally this would be the end of it. I’d tell you a hilarious story about finding it in some impossible place. But that hasn’t happened.
As of deadline, the creamer was still AWOL. I just hope we find it before it starts to emit its own olfactory evidence.

[Sallie Satterthwaite of Peachtree City has been writing for The Citizen since our first issue Feb. 10, 1993. Before that she had served as a city councilwoman and as a volunteer emergency medical technician. She is the only columnist we know who has a fire station named for her. Her email is SallieS@Juno.com.]