Seek (not) And Ye Shall Find (not)

By: Ann Brown

Fuuuuuck. I lost my blue Mephisto sandal. And my Tacos Del Mar punch card. And the piece of paper onto which I wrote the answer to the secret question that Facebook will ask me in the event that I forget my password.

I cannot find a damn thing in my house.

I’m not going to blame losing these things on menopause or being over-scheduled or El Nino; I do not blame Robin or my dead dog or Dick Cheney, although it doesn’t take even six degrees of separation to blame Dick for everything wrong in the universe. I so deeply fucking hate the Dick.

Of course, the real reason I can’t find anything is that I have too many things and not enough drawers in  which to put them but that’s not my point.

My point is, I can’t find anything because I have lost the will to look for it.

I have done the math and there just isn’t enough time left in life to spend it looking for misplaced shit. Well, I have done the math as well as I can do math, having not made it past Geometry. Wait, I didn’t even make it to Geometry. I was one of the lucky few who came through the public school system in the 60’s- the age of academic alternatives, bucking the system, the age that offered remedial math classes with names like, “Outtasite Adventures With Numbers” which were euphemisms for “Still Counts On Her Fingers In High School”.

As I recall, we spent a lotta time in Outtasite Adventures wrapping rubber bands around nails on a board and breaking mirrors while feigning revelatory mathematical conclusions about what we had done. I don’t even remember a teacher being in the room, come to think of it, although – and hand to God this is true – there was a parrot. Hunh. Is it possible that alternative education had come to the point where classes were being taught by birds? Or did the Los Angeles Unified School System not even deem us teachable enough to give us an actual human teacher?

“Oh, just stick a fucking parrot in the class,” I imagine the principal saying to the Girls’ VP as they passed the bong. “They’ll never know the difference. Those kids couldn’t identify an isosceles triangle from my anus.”

And then the two of them pocketed the money not used to pay a teacher and laughed and slapped their knees and had clumsy sex on the xylophone whose so -mi -do notes announced the beginning of school and led The Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

At least, that’s how I imagine it.

Which might explain why I need to use my beak for simple addition and subtraction.

According to my calculations, I may have only, roughly, fifty more years of life in me. This is based on the presumption that I will die at the age of 106, which is based on the fact that I can mentally add 50 to my age, which means that I don’t have to get up off my chair and look for a pencil right now.

With only 50 more years to live, I do not want to waste even two of them looking for the receipts, and keys and cash and Immodium and pieces of sushi (which really announce themselves after a few days anyway) and slips of paper onto which I have written important phone numbers and blog ideas and online passwords and lyrics to songs that keep me up at night trying to remember them.

I hardly ever find the shit I was looking for, anyway. And the shit I do find – for which I was not even  looking – then has no place to go except in a pile on the kitchen counter where it will languish for days, which will cause me great aggravation and force me to pick an unprovoked fight with Robin, which will result in all sorts of old issues coming up, including the whole fight about why I didn’t change my last name when we got married (30 years ago this September) and how this means I never accepted his family as mine.

And then Robin will stomp downstairs and sleep in the guest room for a week or so.

But at least I’ll know where to find him.


[Photo Credit: Flickr member Glenn Fleishman]

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