Out Of Thin Air

The weather has become wonderfully warm, reaching 19 degrees today and yesterday. Unfortunately, in a bid to overcompensate, my workplace has turned on the air conditioner (or has opened a dimensional gate to Pluto) and now we freeze. I have to choose my layers carefully, short or light long sleeves with a sweater I can zip up or down, else I’ll either sweat or freeze at night. I decided to wear one of Todd’s many polar fleece zipper-vests, hanging in the closet.

Walked to the bus stop, rode into town, wandered on the main floor, torn between going to one bank machine or another, chose neither, went upstairs, got settled, took off the vest for a while, and finally put it back on as the temperature dropped. I even huddled, hands in my pockets, couple of times.

And then one time when I put my hand in the right pocket, my fingers tightened around a USB stick. My USB stick.

This is the USB I thought lost when my purse had been stolen from the car. I hadn’t realized the USB was missing until a few days later when I needed it, then quite literally broke down after a ransack of my office, my jacket, my pants – every place I could think of – turned up nothing. I cried, I sobbed, the thought of it being out there in someone else’s hands, someone reading it, made me physically ill. I don’t think Todd knew what to do with me. Depressed and distracted, I kept looking for it for days afterwards, hoping that I had stupidly missed it and would find it if I just tried one more time.

Now here it is, in a pocket, in a vest, one I haven’t worn in months and months. Had I even worn it that day of the break in? I don’t know. I remember taking it off my keys at some point, because I had too much dangling, too much bulk. I would think if I was out, I’d put it in the purse, and if at home, then in my office drawer. But why leave it there, in a pocket, where I could lose it?

Yet the vest kept it. Kept it very well. It was a little piece of magic, as if it appeared in my pocket out of thin air, as if it hadn’t been there moments before. And to find it after wearing it for several hours, finding it in that shallow little pocket, where it could so easily have been jostled out on the way to the bus, on the bus itself, in the mall or at work, never knowing I had ‘found’ it all. If I was superstitious, I might think it was magical, even miraculous. (Though why I would deserve such a miracle, or why miraculous abilities would be wasted on such a small thing, I don’t know).

I was on the phone with a customer when I reached in absently, and I was speechless for a moment while this beatific grin spread across my face. I plugged it in to my work computer to check, make absolutely sure it was my USB, and it was. I could barely make it through the call. I doubt she could understand me through all that grinning.

This wave of relief passed over me and I just held the USB in my hand – giddy, thankful, astounded. Its loss had haunted me for a long time. Still does. Did. I thought about it just the other day, wondering where it was. Todd and I had gone back to the beach on Tuesday with Ginger and decided to take a look now that the snow is gone. Thought, Maybe we’ll find something this time. But nothing.

Now I don’t have to look anymore. Not that I wouldn’t mind finding that Moleskin notebook, but it’s okay if I don’t. Does that make sense? It doesn’t matter so much.


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