Lost and Found

Not a week goes by where I don’t lose my wallet, cell phone, keys or sunglasses. Inevitably I launch an exhaustive but futile search. Retracing my steps, combing through that pigsty on wheels and gutting the couch, before realizing that my phone/wallet/glasses are gone forever.

These episodes progress in five phases that take anywhere from 30 minutes to two days. The item disappears and I experience:

Phase 1: loss
Phase 2: frustration
Phase 3: panic
Phase 4: hopelessness
Phase 5: recovery

Usually Martin discovers my phone or wallet wedged under a stack of mail or in the car.

But I’m convinced that the kids are to blame. Not for stealing stuff but sapping us of all sensible thoughts. I’m not even sure that they are kids. I think they might be tiny, trollish aliens that subsist on brain cells — silently feeding and sustaining themselves on our cranial contents.

And when they’ve sucked the marrow from the bone, they target us directly.

Ten days ago Martin’s iphone evaporated. Poof! It was gone.

Hadley was the prime suspect — last seen with the victim. We questioned her, we searched the other two and scoured the house. But it’s like it never existed.

I imagine that the house swallowed it. Hadley dangled it by thumb and index finger over our home’s gaping jaws and it gulped it down, with a satisfying belch.

I have new respect for the power of the alien-trolls.

They’re also decent thieves. A weekend ago we were in the car, returning from a family hiking trip, when I noticed a steady jingling from the backseat. Sort of like that incessant Salvation Army bell-ringer at the grocery store.

But this was no charity volunteer. It was Brynn toying with a set of keys. Someone else’s keys. Including a car and house key.

I don’t know where she nabbed them, but I suspect that they came from the state park’s parking lot, where several other hikers had left their cars.

Since the exact origins were unknown… and we were exhausted and almost home… we kept the keys. No doubt someone had to call for back-up house keys to retrieve back-up car keys.

But that’s old news. Martin bought a new iphone and is keeping it on a tight leash. As for the mystery car keys, they’re gone again.

The house ate them.