The Thing That Makes You Lose Things

Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s The Sweeper of Dreams. What if everything that happens like that had some kind of driving force behind it, a physical representation of the events that happen in our lives, the emotions, the small moments?

The Thing That Makes You Lose Things

    Don’t blame yourself anymore. When you lose your keys. Your left sock. The bracelet from your 7th grade boyfriend. The wax-figure elephant figurine your mother-in-law gave you. Ok – blame yourself for that one, maybe.

It is by no fault of our own that these items go missing. It is the thing that makes us lose things. It is the thing that makes us lose things at the most inopportune times and run frantically throughout the house overturning couch pillows and venturing through enormous dust bunnies under the fridge only to later find the things when you no longer need them in an inexplicable location like the cheese drawer or in the watering can or – cough cough the elephant wax figure your mother in law gave you – in the trash. The thing has a rather long title. In short we most of the time say, “Where the hell is it?” instead.

It’s a shy creature. It lives in the corners of our eyes. We see it in the quiet times when we’re not looking for it. it’s the flash that we think we see disappear around the corner. When it’s not being careful, sometimes we do a double take. What was that? We shake our heads. Probably nothing. We’re seeing things. Except the things that it’s sneaked in to steal from underneath our noses. But by the time we notice what’s missing, the thing has already melted away like morning mist in the light of the afternoon. We have never really seen it. No one has.

The things that go missing are not things we think about. Our aloe-flavor chapstick and orange coffee tumbler and wine bottle opener are not noticed until they are gone. They are only the small things, the little blessings. It would never steal your car or break into your house to take your TV. That’s a job for its older brother. No one likes the older brother.

No, it’s just the little things. The ones that only until you lose them do you even notice you had them.

And that is why the thing takes them. It gives them back when we realize hey, this is important to me. I hope I never lose it again. So we can look at the things we have and the things we have lost and found – and find that we have more than we ever thought. So we can say thank you, thing that makes us lose thing, but where the hell are my keys?

Hard Candies

Wrote this for an assignment when I was really upset but had to soldier on in life, ya know. Nobody had criticism for it – totally means it’s perfect, right? Right. Maybe if I stay sad all the time my writing will improve.

Hard Candies

     The jackolantern grimaced on the porch, a fire in its mouth. He had tried to carve a smile but it had turned out that way instead.
The doorbell chimed for the first time, and he descended the stairs, past the face down picture frame on the shelf he kept next to his 1964 Yankees World Series baseball.
He’d decorated the small glass windows on his front door with stick-on bats and witches riding broomsticks. He opened the door.
“Trick-or-treat!” said a dinosaur, a skeleton, a clown, and a frog. They reached into the bag of candy he offered, scuttling away after grabbing a handful and avoiding his eyes.
The bag was full of watermelon Jolly Ranchers. He always ate so many he used to worry his teeth might fall out, but he didn’t like the watermelon flavor. She did.
The doorbell again. This time it was a football player, a ghoul, a panda, a particularly unfortunate homemade Big-Bird, and a fairy princess.
The fairy princess was last. She was brave. She looked him right in the eyes.
“What are you supposed to be?” Her brown eyes made his heart twinge from remembering.
“I don’t know,” he said, and she grabbed the watermelon Jolly Ranchers and joined the football player and his team.
Trick after treat, and then then the candy was finally all gone. He turned out his porch light and the wind blew out the fire in the jackolantern. As he was getting ready to go to sleep he thought about the skeleton mask and the ghoul mask and looked in the mirror while brushing his teeth at the mask he could not take off.