Have you ever lost something and wondered how it could’ve happened? There are certain things — quite a number — that have gotten lost throughout my life, and whose losses have always puzzled me. I call them mysterious losses.
The most notorious of these occurs with socks. Somehow or other, one of them — either the right or the left, I cannot really tell which is which — goes walkabout. Seldom does it happen with both however. I’m pretty certain that if I spent more time chatting with them and spending more time with them face to face instead of foot to foot, I’d have a better idea of their uniqueness and be able to tell them apart.
I’ve even tried to be clever by putting them into net bags – purposely made so that singletons don’t end up lost in the ether somewhere – before popping them into the wash, but that has never worked. Not with me anyway. The other solution that I thought of is to buy two pairs of the same kind. That would work well for a while, all would be tickety boo, but then something or other would tick one or more of them off, and there’d be just the one left – the others having decided to run off somewhere as a threesome.
Earrings are also way up there on my list of these profound life mysteries – not as high up as socks, but pretty close. Again as with socks, with earrings it’s not so easy distinguishing right from left or, just to give equal priority to each, left from right. And perhaps that’s why one of them ends up sulking and running away to a place where it can be valued for its own sake, and not just as one of a couple. Doubtless it’s the very same thing triggers single socks to go awol. I am inclined to believe there exists a parallel dimension, a separate universe from ours – that is a sanctuary for these singleton socks and earrings. In our unthinking self-centeredness as humans, we have regarded them as simply lost, but now I am fairly convinced that socks and earrings, like all our possessions, whether treasured or not, are capable of self-determination and can decide for themselves to just get up and leave. They do not. Just. Get. Lost.
But sometimes miracles do happen. And three of these miraculous finds happened to me the other day, on the very same day, as a matter of fact. (Why three? There seems to be a similar numerological logic to the number 3 as pertains to the number 40, but this isn’t the time and space to ponder it.)
The first miraculous find was an earring that had been lost for over a year. It turned up all by itself in the same blue mini-bag it had come in. I call it a miracle as I know I had searched that precise bag and everywhere else thoroughly before. Many, many times before — as I had felt lost (evocative word, that) without the two of them. They were my everyday, morning-to-evening, work-to-probably-a-night-out pair.
I can only imagine one had become rather burned out and needed some R&R, away from all the anxiety of not knowing from day to day whether it would have to work overtime. Or perhaps it simply wanted to be more keenly appreciated. Having been away for so long and thought lost forever, it is now very much treasured. I don’t wish to hurt its feelings by intimating (and this I have to whisper because I am wearing them both right now) that I cannot, try as I might, tell if it was the left earring or the right earring that had been missing all this time.
The second find was the case to my tiny camera. This is my everyday camera that I carry with me everywhere, and for several months now I have been carrying it without its case, which I had consigned to another case (oops, pardon the pun) of life’s mysteries. Guess where it had taken refuge? In an evening bag, of all places! I’m beginning to see a pattern here: the camera case so adored being taken out and entertained that it stayed put where it had more chances of enjoying the same .
There was another lost thing that turned up, I know that for sure, but my memory is not on full load at the moment. For these three things that once were lost for some time and were feared lost forever, but now are found, I am thoroughly grateful. On days like this, I truly believe the universe is smiling at me and blessing me.
There are still some remaining unsolved mysteries however – one in particular involves a lovely yellow dress with pearls and embroidery and smocking on the bodice. I have never forgotten it. It was a present from my godparents and I had wanted to wear it for the first time on a Sunday, for church. I looked at it admiringly before going off for my shower. It had been given a final pressing and was hanging from a wooden hanger on the handle of the aparador (wardrobe). When I got back from the shower, the dress was nowhere to be found. It had simply vanished. The hanger was not there either. To this day, no one has solved this early childhood mystery for me. The maid who ironed the dress was questioned thoroughly, I would assume. Why would anyone steal a yellow dress and not anything else in the room? Very odd. And it was not one of a pair either and had never been worn, so it couldn’t have run off to a sanctuary for singletons. But perhaps I had been mistaken, and it was pining for its twin somewhere? There’s a distinction between being one of a pair, brought together at random, and being half of a twin. Twins, I am told, have a preternatural bind.
Ah yes, now I recall what the third miraculous find was: an extra pair of shoelaces, turquoise. Another paired possession! There is, I tell you, some kind of underlying pattern to these mysterious losses and miraculous finds. Someday I may just find it out.
Looking out to sea on a glorious sunny day like today seems to be an ideal place from which to contemplate and ruminate on whimsy like this.