This time I’ve lost a film—The Graduate, to be exact. I know I had it recently or I at least saw it because I made a mental note to re-watch it. It’s one of the few movies that I do like to see again and again. The music itself is worth my time. If I had back all the time in my life that I’ve wasted looking for lost items, I wonder how many years I’d have accumulated. The time I’ve spent searching for my car keys would probably constitute at least a year. I won’t even mention the time I’ve spent looking for other folks’ keys.
Jakey, our middle son, did the absolute best job of losing his car key. One day when the time came to leave for school, that key just disappeared into thin air, We all searched the house, the cars, the yard, all our pockets, the school—every possible place he’d been we went back to several times to search, all to no avail.
Finally, life had to move forward and it couldn’t move without the car, so we had some more keys made and gave up on that one. We later discovered that we’d forgotten one minor detail of that fateful day. I had taken his band uniform by and dropped it off to be cleaned for the season. I didn’t pick it up for some time, but as the deadline approached to turn in uniforms, I collected it and sent it off to school with Jakey. Two days later, the parent who inventoried uniforms appeared at my classroom door and handed me the car key. Jakey had slipped it into the band uniform pocket and promptly forgotten about it. Until then, I didn’t even know the uniform had a pocket.
The nearest pocket should be the first place to look when we lose things around here. I did find my lost contact in my shirt pocket, but not until we’d spent hours looking for it. That was back in the days when I wore those gas-permeable lenses—not the throw-away kind available today. Actually I had everybody else searching for it. I couldn’t see well enough without the lens to look for it myself. I just prayed that I wouldn’t find it with my shoe.
My younger years saw more losses than my mature years. I like to think I’ve become more organized than I once was and am now more careful about putting things in their proper places. I actually know that my income tax information is waiting in the drawer for me when I’m ready.
Deeds, birth certificates, insurance papers are all filed away in safe places, along with warranty information on every appliance we own and some we don’t have any more.
The frustration of always searching for things drove me to this new organization. I had to stop losing my possessions or face losing my sanity. However, I seem to have fallen off the wagon. Just when I’m feeling really proud of myself, I can’t find the movie I wanted to watch. I realize that losing a movie is not crucial like losing a car key. Someday the movie will resurface and I’ll watch it then, if the mood strikes. If not, I’ll forget it again, or better still I might even put it with the other movies where it belongs. Who knows? Losing the movie is just a minor irritation like a mosquito buzzing in a dark room.
This weekend a friend and classmate asked if I remembered all the members of a class we had together in high school. He said that just for fun he’d made a list of 19 of the 20 and wondered if I might remember the other one. When I read his list, I was chagrined.
Talk about losing things. It seems I’ve lost my memory now. I not only can’t remember Number 20, I can’t even remember many of the 19 he named. I dragged out my Jacketeer and ran my finger over pictures, trying to remember.
I had fun walking around Jeff Davis High School circa 1966 via my old yearbook, but that last name never came to me. Other memories came back rich and strong, though, and I enjoyed the search. There may be a lesson here somewhere.