Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Thought Picnic: Losing things is not fun

Losing the plot
For a while, it never really bothered me, I was used to losing things from when I was a kid and the number of times I was told off for it did not make me a better keeper of my things for a long time.
When I was shipped off to boarding school, a good 500 miles or more away from home, I was literally equipped with the wrong things. My shorts were grey instead of green, I do not know if it was my mother or the school that got it wrong, my cutlass was not fit for purpose, neither light nor sharp, I never completed any of my grass cutting chores with that thing.
Losing my pail
All my things were scrawled over with Kandahar indelible ink and the first thing I lost was my water pail. Unbeknownst to me, you had to secure your pail at all times or it ended up in the hands of someone else and basically, you had no rights of claim except with an exchange – meaning you stole someone else’s pail to get your back.
Suffice it to say, I did not see my pail for years, it had somehow been sequestered in the hallowed temple of the girl’s hostel, the grounds of which were verboten to all males until one summer school season in my penultimate year when some of my class mates raided the place in search of fun and that was the end of boarding school for us in the last year.
Losing my jimjams
Yet, now, I seem to keep things for much longer that I can even remember and with that has come a keener sense of loss when I inadvertently lose things.
In the past two days, I am at a loss as to where have I left my night wear; the top and trousers which I thought I had packed for a weekend trip. It was not as if I did not check every drawer and top in that hotel room before leaving and yet, somewhere between my home and my sojourn, I seem to have lost my pyjamas. I am baffled.
This morning, I could have sworn I left home with my brown Roeckl leather gloves, they are usually in the pocket of my coat when I am not wearing them.
Losing the trail
This evening, I suddenly realised I did not have them and I am left wondering if I left them on the train to work, in the cab between the station and the office or at the office.
The taxing thing about this realisation is how I try to playback my day as if it were some closed-circuit television recording in my mind. I can say this has sometimes worked for me because I am literally able to remember as far as it appears I subconsciously had things with me before I lost sight of them.
Losing the mind
Then the mental disputing begins; as I start to question whether I am sure of what I have remembered. After a while, I can probably settle down to knowing exactly what happened, and then I have to decide if I can get the lost items back or consider replacing them.
In all this, one must not forget that there might be other things at play; a gripping fear of the possibility of losing essential parts of memory and recollection. I desperately try to put the thought far from me as one hopes that a track record of losing things is not a precursor to losing one’s mind.
I guess I have to phone the hotel, the train operator and the cab company, just to put this matter to rest, and at least rest my mind until I have the time for the self-flagellation that comes with having been careless.
Postscript:
This morning as I made for work, I picked up my bowler hat and as I checked my coat pockets I realised the coat I thought I wore yesterday was a different one.
So, it transpired, my gloves were still in my other coat’s pocket and my memory was more to do with the day before yesterday, rather than yesterday.
That sums up the kind of disputing that goes on in my mind as I challenge my recollection of events to be sure that I know what really happened. Yet, I could have sworn I always wore the same coat to work.
The jimjams however, are somewhere I still need to determine.



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