Writing 101–Day #4–Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
I’ve had it a really long time. I had it, in fact, right up until, uh, wait, when DID I lose it? I can’t recall now. But I did have it and then I didn’t. It was there and then it was gone. I now have an abyss in place of the thing I needed most in life. Oh, geez, now I can’t even remember WHAT it was I lost. If I can’t remember WHAT I lost and WHEN, how in hell will I be able to determine HOW I lost it? WHERE was it when I last had it? WHO remembers when I had it? Where I had it? When I lost it? Crap. I do hope this isn’t going to be one of those stories. Where the author doesn’t tell you who s/he is and you’re lost through the whole thing and then it turns out to have been a dream. I hate those tales. Why bother? Real life is absurd enough; why go searching for a dumb fantasy?
Maybe if I start looking, I’ll accidentally run across what I’ve lost and the rest will fall into place. What kind of an idiot has something so vital that its loss is monumental yet can’t recall WHAT it was? Did I give it to someone else? Someone who needed “IT” more than I? How unlikely–no one could possibly need “IT” more than I. I’m generous, but come on. I’d have to be quite the fool to give away my most prized…whatchamacallit! Damn! Blast! What the hell? Where should I start? Is it even worth the time, the trouble? What if…
OK. Keep cool. No need to panic. I still have sight, hearing, and limbs, and I’m breathing and thinking, so that eliminates the obvious culprits. So where did I put “IT”? Man, every time I declutter the house and re-organize so that everything has its place, etc. I lose something. Mom used to say I’d lose my head if it weren’t firmly stuck on my neck. Maybe I could call her. No, I can’t. She died almost nine years ago; Dad passed nearly 14 years ago. So, I can’t even get bad advice from them. Where would I go if I were the thing?
Great! There goes my day! I won’t be able to concentrate at all on anything until I find the whatsit. How about doing an inventory? Make a list and check off each item until I discover whatever it was that is gone. That’s assuming I can imagine what the damned thing was and put it on my list. What if I tick off everything on the list and still can’t find “IT”? Then, I’d be the one ticked off. Who’s to say I can even think of something to put on the list that’s relevant? I’m not wasting a whole day with this!
I could look in all my containers, nooks, crannies, all the places where my things have a cozy home. Then, if I find an empty something-or-other, I’ll know…No, I won’t. Unless the cubby is custom-made in the shape of “IT,” finding an empty cubby won’t help at all. Oh, why bother? But I have to, because what if whatever “IT” is could save me or something? What if it’s the answer to some mystery whose solution would save the world? What am I going to do?
How do I get myself into these things? Other people never lose stuff at the rate I do. What’s wrong with me? Am I careless? No, it’s not that. I was taught to take good care of my stuff, and I do. That’s probably why I have to declutter all the time. I keep stuff in good condition but I also buy newer versions. It’s a sin to waste things, Mom always said. So, I have 17 laptops, 5 cellphones, and a zillion phone cords even though I no longer have a land line. Waste not, want not. And yet,
I’ve lost “IT.” What will I do? Where will I go? I can’t live without “It.” Or, can I? Wouldn’t I remember what it was if it was important? My passwords are important, too, but I can’t remember them to save my soul. Have to write them down on sticky notes that fall off the computer and end up in the dog’s mouth, returned begrudgingly, the letters and numbers lost in slobbers. I leave extra notes about passwords in a secret place, because my pup loves paper bits, so maybe I have a similar note for whatever it is I’ve lost.
I just need a little time to search my files. But I’ve got more important things to worry about now. Can’t this wait? Maybe not. “IT” has got to be essential or I wouldn’t be so upset at its loss. I better focus on finding it NOW. What’s my alternative? Nothing can be done until I find what’s lost. …
©2015 Linda L Labin, PhD
Part 1 of a 3-part Series “My Loss.”