One minute you have it in your hand and the next, it’s gone. Ever happen to you? No? Get ready. It’s coming.
It starts with the little things, a newspaper, a screwdriver, maybe a soft drink. You look at it, use it, drink it, set it down—just for a second—and it disappears. You didn’t lose it. Someone moved it, or worse, stole it. There’s no other explanation. How can a solid object vanish into thin air? It defies logic.
As you get older, the condition escalates. Instead of misplacing something simple like a pen, or the card with your doctor’s appointment, or God help you, the TV remote, now it’s the car keys and you’re running late and WHO THE HELL USED MY KEYS LAST?
Lately, I’ve been having a problem keeping track of my cell phone. Not so much misplacing it but actually losing the damn thing, like it was on my belt and now it isn’t thing. Okay, so a couple of those times I did leave it in the car, but one day, I couldn’t find the phone anywhere. Yes, I tried calling it from a landline, running from room to room, checking the wife’s car, the pickup, over and over until the battery apparently went dead with nary a single ding-a-ling within earshot.
It showed up, eventually, where I’d dropped it on the floorboard of a relative’s car. But then, last week, same story. I retraced my previous day’s route and found it at the local Walgreen’s where some kind soul had left it at the counter.
Losing a cell is serious enough but consider this sad tale: It was the grand opening of a new Tractor Supply store right here in Sand Springs. Tractor Supply is a lot like an Atwood’s with all manner of things for ranch and farm, salt blocks, horse meds, fencing, things like that. The ad in the paper offered $10 off any purchase including bird seed, an item in which I was of dire need. Have to keep my feathered friends happy you know.
At the checkout, I open my wallet for my well-worn blue Visa card and…it’s not there. Surely I’ve misplaced it and not lost it. It has to be in there somewhere, behind something, in the wrong slot maybe. I’m digging and poking and the clerk is giving me one of those not another one of you people looks and I’m panicking. People are stacking up behind me with their own $10 off coupon and things are getting ugly. Luckily, I find enough one-dollar bills and pocket change to cover the charges and the management allows me to leave without a call to the Sand Springs Police Department. The credit card however, was gone.
All manner of scenarios are playing through my head on the drive home. Where did I use it last? Did it fall out on the floor somewhere and right this minute some dude is charging High Def TV’s, Play Station 3’s, and .357 magnums to my account? Got to call the bank, that’s the first thing. Cancel that baby out. But what if I get some guy from India named Ahmad and I can’t understand him and he gets mad and tells me in his little sing-song accent, “Mr. Williams, you are screwed”? Where does that leave me?
Back at the abode, drenched in sweat, and nervous as Mike Tyson reading a book, I lay all my cards on the kitchen table and go through them one by one. There’s my driver’s license, my AAA card, my medical card, my fishing license, my red Visa card, my Sear’s ca…wait a minute, RED Visa card? RED? It was one of those moments, senior moments we like to call them, but what we really mean is that dementia has us by the throat and the light is fading.
My blue Visa card you see, had expired, replaced by a shiny red one. Yes, I swapped it out but I hadn’t used it since, hence the mental lapse.
However, I’m not ruling out an alien force, a mysterious laser-like beam from outer space, and able to cloud men’s minds. Don’t laugh. They’re gunning for you as well, and one of these days….