: views from the Hill

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

What's Lost Is Found Again

Wednesday I knew where my set of keys to the loft was and his nibs' set as well. The younger younger guy had left both on the dining table before he decamped.

By Thursday evening, his nibs' set was nowhere to be found. When asked where the key set was I said, "I remember it was on the table just last night. Right there." The set wasn't there any longer.

He'd dropped me off at the loft Thursday morning before he headed south to work. I'd used my set to get in and dropped some stuff off there and picked some stuff up there and fetched my Mini from the garage where the younger younger guy had left it while we were gone. I'd then spent the rest of the day in the southlands myself, checking in on the homestead, visiting the mater, stopping by the older younger guy's place.

Thursday evening his nibs' set of keys was missing. Mine was in the zippered pocket in my zippered bag where I keep it but his was gone, missing, bunked, no 'stá aquí.

Where had the keys gone? I took my zippered hobo bag and emptied each and every pocket. Same with my camera bag. Checked pants in the wash. Checked jackets and vests worn any time since we'd returned. Checked every horizontal surface on which I could reasonably think I might have left them.

Over the weekend we upended the living room and the dining room, which we really had to do anyway because they wanted cleaning and dusting and vacuuming.

The keys were nowhere to be found. But I had my keys, right? We could just make copies. But it wasn't that easy. One of the keys is a key to the mailbox in the mailbox bank in the lobby. I'm not sure how easy it is to get a duplicate key for a mailbox.

Also on the keychain were keys to the locks on the locked storage cupboard in the garage. (Not that the locks are any good or hold up against a serious intruder armed with a crowbar, as we know from experience.)

Also on the keychain was the key to the front door to the building, a copy of which is only available from the building management company and then only at a cost of $50.

Oh, my.

By Monday morning the keys weren't the only things lost. I'd also mislaid -- somewhere between getting ready for the FFCoppola-isn't-cooking-this-year fundraiser dinner for North Beach Citizens the night before and tucking in after a raucous evening -- a string of wooden beads with a dime-sized Thai Buddha medallion attached. Both the beads and the medallion had huge sentimental value and I felt majorly unlucky to have lost them. (The beads were originally a hand-strung bracelet the younger younger one had made for me to remind me to count my blessings -- identify one blessing for every bead if the grey black ooze is threatening. The Thai medallion had belonged to my dad.)

Two important things lost, keys and beads. All was not sunny in my world.

I was reassured, a bit, by Jon Carroll's column last Friday.

I think that we, as a nation, underestimate the ability of things to hide. You can't find something and you think, "oh, I have lost it." And then later, sometimes much later, you discover that you didn't lose it at all; it was where it was the whole time. Indeed, it was where you put it. You don't have a problem with lost things; you have a problem with putting things in strange locations.

The things themselves are getting fed up. They are tired of being blamed for being lost. They are not children; they do not wander off or run away from home or hide in the closet to scare their parents. Things are without means of locomotion. They stay where they are put.

So allz I had to do was figure out where I'd left the keys and the beads, right?

I searched again. Top. Bottom. Left. Right. NSEW.

Finally, I said, "The beads have got to be here. I always keep them in the left front pocket of my black jeans. I take them out at night and put them >here<. I put them back in my jeans pocket in the morning.

"I don't specifically remember transferring them to the khaki pants I wore to the NBC dinner, but even if I had, I wasn't fiddling with them there and I would've come home and taken them out before I went to bed and put them right ..." and there they were. I'd dropped the beads smackdab on top of a shell necklace that had been sitting on the countertop and they'd sort of camouflaged themselves, hiding amongst the shells. Yay. Hooray. The beads they are found.

Next up the keys. We were heading out to Costco and decided to check the cars one last time. I checked through the Mini. Nada. His nibs checked through the Honda. Nothing. "Did you check the door pockets?" "Yes." "Glove box?" "Yes." We checked the trunk. Nothing. So we hopped in the Honda and off to Costco we went, stopping by to drop some things at the loft, which we searched even though I knew for certain I hadn't left the keys there.

At Costco we bought the usual necessities and things that aren't necessities but we buy anyway. After loading up the trunk, we were getting ready to leave the Costco garage and I fiddled around with a popup gizmo in-between the front seats that opens to reveal two cupholders.

Ah hah! That's where the keys had been hiding. My fault, I'm sure. I must have had both sets of keys when I got in his nibs' car Thursday morning and I'd decided to stash his set in this nice little nook in his car and then forgotten I'd done so. Mystery solved. (Well, sort of. I still can't remember putting the keys there and his nibs knows for a fact it wasn't him.)

But what's lost is found again, halleu.

And whenever anything goes lost again, as it surely will, I'll remember Jon Carroll's wise words on the subject and

... Where is Jon Carroll, by the way? Yesterday where Carroll's column should've been was a Chron note: "Jon Carroll is taking the day off." Okay. He's allowed.

Today where Carroll's column should've been there was ... nothing, not even a note.

But he's not missing. I just need to remember where I left him.

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