Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lost Or Stolen Or Strayed

I've lost something. Not her. Well, yes, her but that's not what I'm talking about. I've lost the old fashioned style 1 liter glass coke bottle where I keep all my change. Before I left for Chicago I got coins out of it for laundry but when I came back I couldn't find it. I emptied my purse and pockets of the change accumulated over my travels, went into the bedroom coke bottle. I'm lazy. I'm easily distracted. I could have started to put it away and been holding onto it when I wandered off. I looked high and low to no avail.

Finally I texted Pony Express to see if she'd seen it. In my mind I'd constructed a face-saving scenario where, while she'd been feeding my cats, she'd lit upon a creative idea involving my change and my coke bottle and acted upon it. She had not. It was half full and, as I mentioned, made of glass so it wasn't something you could easily move without thinking about it. I'm a little freaked out that it's gone (I looked around, nothing else is gone so it wasn't a robbery, not a smart robbery anyway) so I took the safest path, denial.

When Pony Express came around for dinner a few days later she asked after my progress. While I'd forgotten all about it she'd been thinking about it constantly. We launched another search. Our results were disappointing. My change is piling up on every flat surface of the apartment.

There's an odd little lady who lives in the building next door. She might be 10 or 15 years older than I, I don't know. She always says hello to me and I return the greeting as part of my ongoing campaign to stop being seen as a community interloper (7 years on December 16th, inroads are being made!). She's a long time resident and she knows everyone and talks to everyone and, I think, has plead my case with a few of her fellow old timers so that I get more courtyard greetings than before. On the day Farrah Fawcett died I ran into this lady while walking Emily in the evening and she stopped me to say, "Oh isn't it terrible about Michael Jackson!" She went on a bit and I nodded and hmmm'd because she's the sort of lady who, when you hear something surprising like that, you think, "How did she mix up Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson?" A quick internet search let me know that, while she may be a little loopy, she hasn't lost her grip on reality.

The other day on my way to work I passed this woman on the street corner. We nodded and said hello and I trudged on toward my fate. Thankfully I keep my iPod on low because I heard her say in her astral voice, "Your baby's gone?" (All the ladies in my neighborhood call Emily my baby and not in a mocking way at all.) I went back to the corner and explained. She then proceeded to tell me the story of putting her dog to sleep. She and her daughter had gone through that particular hell of a cancerous dog together. Her daughter, she explained, also had cancer at the time. It was at this point I realized this wasn't the same old conversation I've been having. Two months after the dog died she went through the same process with her daughter. She thought, and I agree, that it was nice - not nice but good, perhaps - that her dog gave the two humans that eerily similar chance to work through their grief together before she would be left on her own. I feel as though, when we pass again, I should say something more than a simple hello but, really, what is there to say?

I'm still annoyed that I lost my coke bottle and really hope it turns up soon. I don't feel quite so bad, though, about losing a piece of my mind over the events of these past few months. Sometimes going a little loopy is part of the healing process.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. And your neighbor's losses and our collective losses.


    Losses are quite devastating. Being a pet owner (and coke bottle possessor) is tough. It's so much easier to shelter oneself.

    One of my roommates just after college was a woman a bit older than me. She'd been through a recent divorce. She wasn't dating and she wasn't planning to date. She knew I had a cat and said something about owning pets, that inevitably, they passed away.

    I was 22 then, and I thought she was ridiculous. 'You don't want a pet because it will...die?! Are you kidding?' But I didn't say anything.

    Don't worry, your mind will come back in due time. You are allowed to be mildly forgetful, sad and all else. Hugs, dear.

  2. Ugh, I hate it when I lose things that I know HAVE to be in the house but are nowhere to be seen. Good luck with the hunt.

  3. when I lose stuff that I KNOW isn't really lost - it's in the house SOMEWHERE, it can't possibly have gone anywhere - I wonder whether or not the Universe is trying to tell me something. I always wonder if there's a message in it. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't, but I do always think that - especially when the object in question suddenly turns up, right in plain sight.

    I know you miss your baby. I miss mine, too, sometimes more than I miss my mother, even.

  4. What does it say about me that I was waiting for the part of the story where the odd little lady takes your coke bottle? Too much Dirty Dancing and the Schumakers, I think.

  5. Gah! The change bottle is still missing?! Now I'm obsessing on it. I hate it when things just seemingly disappear.

    You must let us all know if ever it is found.

  6. Oh, and what JRH said!!!! I was expecting the same ending. :)