Lost & Not Found

They, whoever "they" are, say that the first thing to go as you age is your memory. It seems that a lot of other things are going around here -- with or without my memory.

The first thing that disappeared was a picture. This is no small loss since it was a one-of-kind family picture. It was on the table in October, but gone when I looked for it in January. Well, there's a clue in the time difference, I suppose.

This was an unfortunate loss, but by itself, not anything out of the ordinary. Most likely it was placed in a pile of junk and got thrown out. I remember thinking how I did not want to go through all that stuff again (the picture was NOT supposed to be there). I have too much trouble with paper pileup as it is. Now it will plague me forever.

Fast forward to May and thing start disappearing like the proverbial hot cakes (mine don't go that fast). I got a lovely pair of earrings for my birthday. A couple of days later I was wearing them when I needed a nap. The posts were trying to pierce my head behind my ear, so I took them off and placed them on the table/shelf above me. I remember this clearly. Two days later I wanted to wear them again and went to the table next to the sofa in the living room. No earrings there. They must have been the shelf next to the daybed in my den. But they weren't there either. I don't take naps anywhere else in the house, but I had everyone looking anywhere they could to find the earrings. No one did. Maybe the cat did, but she's not telling.

Uncle Nafis came to visit in July. No, we didn't lose him! This was the first time I had ever met him and I really like the man. One of the nicest things about him was that he offered to cook dinner for us. I really don't mind cooking dinner for guests, but I never turn down an offer like that, either! He made chicken biriani and a kofta (meatball) dish. MMMMmmm were they ever good, but we did have a slight problem during the cooking. My pots and pans are mostly cast iron with a couple of stainless steel ones for versatility. I have had two kettles ever since I got the cast iron, but when I finally actually needed the second one, I can't find it. It wasn't there. It had been there. You notice something like a cast iron kettle when it falls out of the too small cupboard at (or on!) your feet while trying to get out another pan. No one even remembers using that kettle. Of course, no one remembers taking it out of the cupboard and putting it someplace else. We've looked all over for that, too, and haven't found it.

On a regular basis I lose my keys, sunglasses and shoes and the like. They always turn up. My husband, a compulsive tidy-upper, usually has put them somewhere "away." For me, "away" means wherever I set them down last, but I've learned over the years to look in the closets for shoes and in specific place for other things.

In early August I was missing a hair clip. No one had seen it. It wasn't where I had left it and it wasn't in the basket in the bathroom where I "keep" such items. I looked everywhere I could think of, but didn't find it. Then an odd thing happened. One day just before I was ready to leave for a trip, there it was on the dining room table. I thought maybe the trend was going to reverse and did a search for the other items, but no luck.

Now it's the end of August and I'm back from my trip to upstate New York. One of the things that needed to be done shortly after I returned was watering the houseplants. As I was finishing up something didn't seem right. Then it hit me. There's a plant missing!! HOW do you lose a houseplant????? I mean, I've had plants die, but this one was just gone, pot and all! The last memory I have of this plant was watering it before I left for New York. No one else around here even knew what plant it was until I gave a long description of where it had been and what it looked like, and even then their eyes were kind of glazed with uncertainty. I checked outside thinking perhaps I put it out for some light and air, bit it isn't there either. It's a 6 or 8 inch pot with a long vining plant in it. I have no idea where it could be.

Then, in September, on my son's birthday, I couldn't find the warranty on his gift. I clearly remember where I put it, but it's not there! I tried to think if I had changed my mind, but my memory of the event stops at placing it where I was looking. After that, I have no recollection of anything to do with birthday gifts. But still....where could it be?

I have come to a conclusion about all of this. We have a poltergeist. If it were only the earrings that were missing, I'd say it was a curious little gray, furry creature. However, I think the kettle weighs as much as she and where would she hide either the kettle or the potted plant?

No, this must be the real thing! Poltergeists are known mischief makers. They often show up where there are teenagers. It would also explain why the rocker is rocking when I walk into the living room and some of the odd noises I hear around here when I'm alone with only a sleeping cat and snoring dog. Besides, my memory is bad, but it can't be that bad!

2000 by F.S. Junaid

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