Monday, May 21, 2007

My Bad No. 6

I feel another series of stories about the stupidity of the universe coming on, so to even the playing field, I'd better open with another example of my own, very profound, stupidity.

I have always been good at losing things. Being quite near-sighted, and astigmatic to boot, I've found my glasses especially easy to lose. Nowadays I have to park them very consistently in a wooden holder in the top drawer of my dresser, where they are safe from meddling felines. This is a matter of survival. My eyeglasses simply are not visible to my naked eye, in most lighting situations.

When I was younger, and not quite so blind, I was just as gifted at losing things. More so, actually. For besides being vision-challenged, I was also quite absent-minded. Age and experience have made me more methodical. I make mental notes, and sometimes back them up with written notes in case I misplace the mental ones. I think twice about things. I follow routines. But when I was in college, my whole life seemed to consist of a search for one misplaced item after another. My belongings were in a constant state of ransack, which doubtless compounded the problem.

I finally achieved a transcendent state of absent-mindedness one day during my sophomore year in college when I climbed up on the carpeted platform my roommate and I had erected over our beds, sat back on my heels, and tossed my keys in the air. Before they touched the ground I was seized by a conviction that I had lost them. I immediately started tearing the room apart trying to find them. I checked under the couch cushions. I pulled books off the shelves. I turned shoes upside down and shook them. I opened drawers and cupboards that I knew had been closed when I tossed my keys. Finally I sat back on my heels again, exhausted, and fully prepared to submit the case as evidence that tiny black holes exist all around us. I looked down and there my keys were, on the carpet between my knees. I had crawled over them a dozen times while looking for them; it's a miracle I didn't kneel on them.

Behold, my stupidity! Isn't it amazing?

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