Friday, June 15, 2007

Accepting Loss

Over vacation I did something that I have never done before. Well I did several things that I have never done before, I visited the top of the CN Tower "the tallest building in the world" (a fact that I need to look up to know for sure), took a “Duck Boat” tour on the Charles River in Boston (during a downpour, I might add), and nearly fried my laptop in a cooler leak that soaked the floor of our van when the ice melted (my laptop bag was nearest to the cooler). Fortunately, the inner pocket of the bag seemed to avoid getting too damp and the laptop was fine. Close call.

But the leather zipper binder that I’ve been using to hold my latest journal notebook that I’ve been keeping for the last 18 months or so (one of those cardboard-bound marble composition books) that I bought at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge a couple of years ago on a business trip is gone. I have no idea where it is or where I left it.

Part of me is convinced that there is no way that I’d ever leave it behind anywhere. Bury it in a pile of papers that need to be filed, yes. Stuff it under the pillows on top of the couch so Sarge won’t gnaw on it, sure. Accidentally kick it under the bed after tripping over a cat desperate for human contact after 9 days with only one 10-minute visit from a friend, absolutely… But leave it in a downtown Toronto hotel room? Not likely. Leave it on top of the Uplander while stuffing suitcases in the back of it along with all of the new gift shop treasures, Happy Meal toys, and debris from all of our stops along our journey from Ohio to Boston, then Boston to Western Massachusetts and Vermont, on up through New York to Niagara Falls on to Toronto and back to Ohio… well, maybe… I have left things on the roof of vehicles before, but mainly those have been limited to Super-sized orange drink and the occasional occupied children’s car seat (just kidding, DCFS).

But it hasn’t appeared in the chaos created by the unpacking and putting away of stuff, or after we cleaned out the van. I offered the kids 2 shiny quarters to whoever finds it (this is surprisingly still a big motivator for them at these ages), and upped the ante with a paddle ball that Microsoft mailed me this week for some reason (apparently they think that I’m some big internet freelance writing mogul or something), and still no dice. I called the last two hotels that we stayed at to see if anyone found it and turned it in. Nope.

I have never lost a journal or writing notebook before, mainly due to a deep-seated paranoia about just such a thing happening. Not because I fill them with all my dark secrets and local scandals that would warp the space-time continuum, but because I’m always going to wonder if I wrote something brilliant in there that would lead to a best-selling novel or life-changing insight.

I've had a hard time getting writing again on the hope that it will appear… I hate to leave a notebook unfilled, but I think I have to get over it and start a new notebook

I still have this nagging feeling that it is around here somewhere… even though we cleaned out the entire van, emptied all the suitcases and shopping bags of treasures, and begun scouring the less likely places: Under couches, in toilet tanks, and behind . I’ve even considered getting Sarge’s belly x-rayed to make sure that he didn’t devour it in retaliation for leaving him at a kennel for duration of the trip, but I think he is just too happy to see us to hold a grudge… and ecstatic about getting to bark at the mailman, the gas meter reader lady, the garbage truck guys, and of course terrorizing the UPS guy and any bicyclist or jogger who happens to offend him by running on HIS road in front of HIS house… go figure.

I think I need to up the ante again for the kids to 3, no 4 shiny quarters as the reward for finding it… that should do it.

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