While traveling around the city gathering things for the party this weekend, Chris and I lost his phone. I say it was the two of us, because neither of us exactly remembers what happened. Tracing back our steps from where he noticed it gone (grocery store) to all the places we’d been (center city, farmer’s market, Williams Sanoma, parking, block by block by block) makes no sense. He had it in the car, we got out at the grocery store, it was nowhere to be found. I remember looking at it in the car- I think. And that’s the problem when you lose something- you make up all sorts of memories about what happened from point A to point B, but they’re all shifting unsure memories. Was that this afternoon, or last weekend?

I find myself extremely distressed by lost items. I lost a necklace in highschool, one I wore all the time. A green stone moon with a white star hanging from the top of the crescent. I was walking back from gym class putting on my jewelry. By the time I got to English, or History or whatever the next one was, I saw it wasn’t in my pile. I ran back, retracing my steps, but it had vanished. I probably wouldn’t still be wearing that necklace, but I still feel its loss. Mostly I think it was because my own mistake that it is gone, I was foolishly trying to balance too much while walking down the hall. I can go back and replay it a million times, but it doesn’t change that the necklace is gone into the aether.

My most recent loss was another necklace. Chris gave it to me for Valentine’s day a few years ago. It is still the only piece of jewelry he has given me. I loved the piece itself, but the method of giving was what gives it its pull. My friend Angie is a jeweler, I love her work. He was super sneaky and bought the piece from her, I had absolutely no idea about it. He surprised me in the morning, handing me the necklace, I was bowled over. It was just such a thoughtful romantic gift, and I thought about that morning every time I wore it. When I was lamenting its loss for the umpteenth time, and explaining that it wasn’t just the loss of the necklace, but that it meant so much to me because he gave it to me, he said calmly, “But I’m still here.” Which is true, and something that also gets lost sometimes. I focus on these things, these objects that hold memory, but that puts too much emphasis on the past.

Still, I hate losing things. I’ve lost objects, I’ve lost checks, I’ve lost books and hats and gloves. I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost opportunities, I’ve lost loves. And each one leaves a little mark, because its something I held dear that is now missing. But objects can be replaced, new bonds can be made. Perhaps one day I’ll learn to let go of my losses. But in my heart I still hope to find that necklace, nestled under a couch cushion or deep in a pocket, waiting to hook around my neck and remind me of a lovely day and a lovely thoughtful person, even though he’s right next to me and I don’t need a necklace to remember that.

Advertisements