Marcel’s land of the lost
Posted on September 12th, 2013
his morning, 12 hours after Marcel’s bass lesson, I found our check to his teacher crumpled in the pocket of his shorts.
That I found it at all was surprising. I don’t check pockets. Maybe because I don’t think to and maybe because I’ve come to perversely relish the treasure hunt with which my lack of attention to pre-wash rituals provides me come time to pull all of that wet laundry out of the machine: small plastic toys, candy wrappers, cheese wrappers, notes with smiley faces obviously left there by less-than-subtle friend of the opposite sex and, very occasionally, money. Every so often, I will be alerted to the presence of something definitely not clothes hiding within the clothes—a crunching sound or the slightest of thunks when an item finds its way back onto the floor—that will pique my curiosity and send me digging into the depths of a pocket here or there.
We are the most dynamic of problem solvers! We see beautiful things demanding our immediate attention everywhere! We would also misplace our shirts if we weren’t wearing them.
I wasn’t surprised to see the check again. It is my practice to send Marcel into his lesson directly from our car, thereby minimizing the chances it will be misplaced. But yesterday it rained. Faced with the choice of losing the check to the no-kidding-around storm or to Marcel’s pockets, the latter afforded at least the chance for recovery.
It always hurts my heart a little when he loses something—not because I am injured by the loss of one of the myriad items misplaced between whatever home base might be designated to be on any given day and, say, school, but because I understand what it’s like to forget. Completely.
His lunch could just as easily be my car keys. We need them. They are empirically important to any standard of success applied to our day. Why is it then—you collected, organized readers out there may ask) that it is not made some matter of importance in the moment to fix firmly in our minds where we left these things and then to bring them with us?
I like to think it is because there are so many important, interesting things, fluctuating in value and in context through the course of our day, that change our focus only to lose sight of what we’d been holding onto in the first place. We are the most dynamic of problem solvers! We see beautiful things demanding our immediate attention everywhere!
We would also misplace our shirts if we weren’t wearing them.
Two weeks ago, Marcel couldn’t find his language arts binder. It was already late when we began theorizing as to where it might have gone off to and so it took me longer than it might have otherwise to realize the story of this object’s use and eventual loss didn’t make much sense. If it wasn’t in his locker or in his back pack or on the dining room table buried between two weeks-worth of the Times, where else might it have been taken out to have even become lost?
“At lunch,” he said, starting to smile as he realized what he was about to tell me. “I took it out at lunch to give a girl my schedule.”
Something else had become important and all other things were counted as lost, including that who-gives-a-crap language arts binder. I understood. I also told him I thought he could consider the two zeroes he was going to get well and truly earned.∗