The other day I spent two hours looking for our telephone book. It’s a red one about 5 by 7. Maybe you’ve seen it. Usually when I lose something I find something else that I lost but didn’t know it. This time I got so flustered I also lost one of our land-line phones.
I hate wasting my time looking for things when I could be wasting my time doing other meaningless things. I once spent an entire day looking for Peggy’s medication that hadn’t arrived yet in the mail.
Now in the search for both the phone and phone book, I hit upon one of the most profound thoughts in the history of epistemology, namely, that everything is somewhere. I’m not sure if the inverse is also true… that nothing is nowhere. But I am willing to go out on a limb and declare that some things are certainly somewhere.
Life is a series of losses. We lose our virginity and that’s really a gain. We lose our innocence but not entirely if we’re lucky. Peggy went on a diet and lost height. Then there are a series of lost causes. Even countries have disappeared from the map. After World War I an entire generation was lost. One by one our children scatter and we gain a bathroom. We lose our temper, a few teeth, hair and hearing. I’ve lost my shirt once or twice by dumb investments. In the end we lose our marbles.
Slowly we get dispossessed. It all starts with a prodigal sock which slithers out of the washing machine and makes its way across the street where it shows up in a garage sale a year later. I have lost two cameras while on trips abroad and a sweater which I left in a New Orleans taxi.
I’m stalling now waiting for my lost objects to make an appearance. I have imaged them both, pleaded, meditated and chanted for their safe return.
Aha, you rascal you. Here it is. The red phone book was leaning against a photo of Peggy wearing a red robe. Two minutes later I got a vision of the phone tangled in the bed sheets and there it was just where I left it.
I hope they didn’t feel neglected but in mitigation I must admit I was looking for them with only one good eye. My sinister eye has been delinquent for the past two weeks. Now I’m only hoping my lost vision returns.