Terry Marotta: Gone baby, gone
One of my favorite tales of “Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass” occurs when she meets the untidy White Queen, who has her shawl on all crooked and keeps losing things.
She reports that she has lost her comb entirely and also her brush, which appears to Alice to be hanging unnoticed from a section of her hair.
I see myself in the old gal. I can identify, is what I’m saying.
I seem to have once again lost my camera.
It wasn’t misplaced.
It wasn’t left behind somewhere.
It was simply rendered invisible as if by some magic spell, and all I can do is hope it might as magically manifest again.
I have also lost my phone holster, that frictiony gripping accessory that keeps the slender thing from slithering off into that same other dimension and did not find it until three days later when I was rummaging through the fridge. (And a quick piece of advice here: always look in the fridge for phones and phone-related accessories. That’s where your keys are too, when you can’t find them. Almost always they’re right there by that jar of salsa.
I was reading a touching book called “The Notebook of Lost Things,” but then I lost it.
Maybe I should just make a list of the things I HAVEN’T lost yet; that might be easier.
I haven’t lost my tendency to stammer when I have trouble getting a word in.
I haven’t lost my wedding ring, probably because it’s practically soldered onto my hand after all these years.
I haven’t lost the ability to recite that list of the thorniest Latin verbs in all their forms, though I don’t get much call to trot those out anymore.
They say the things that enter your mind early are the things you remember best and I believe this is true.
Yesterday in the waiting room of the doctor’s office a handsome man walked in, took a chair and looked me full in the face.
“You’re Terry Sheehy!” he said.
Startled by the announcement, I must have looked blankly back at him.
“Shane!” he said, pointing to his chest. “Shane McDonough!”
Now I have not seen Shane McDonough except once, from the back, for almost 50 years. Not since I was deep in seventh grade love with his older brother and he was the cutest little 6-year-old on the block.
“Shane! Of course! But how did you know me?”
“How did I know you? You look like yourself!” he said, which to me seemed completely impossible since back then I was basically a jelly doughnut whereas now I have that same pointy-chinned, long-nosed look that Zelda Fitzgerald got near the end of the wild years in Paris when she and old F. Scott were slipping whiskey into their baby’s bottle at night, to make sure she got the really GOOD sleep.
It’s lovely though, the thought that we might look the same to the people who knew us “then” and it might just be true.
I’m realizing now that when I look at my husband of many decades I still see the 21-year-old I fell for so long ago.
So while we may lose all manner of things over the years, we can take comfort in knowing that all the really important stuff is being safely held for us by the friends who once walked by our sides.
Now if I could just find that camera. …