Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Forgotten Sausage

Years ago, Tony's parents walked out of the sunshine into a small store. They made their purchase, got back into the car and drove a only short distance when Tony's mom couldn't find her sunglasses. They made a u-turn, returned to the store, and approached the lone cashier to ask him if he'd seen a pair of sunglasses.

To their embarrassment and amusement, he pointed to the sunglasses perched on her head.

His parents had a good story, and we all had a good laugh. If you're laughing, keep laughing, because very soon, it will be your story. Sooner than you think. The inevitable loss.

At the end of our stay in Greece, Tony said to me after a delicious lunch at DaVinci's, "Make sure I remember my pizza."

In the minutes after he'd wrapped his leftover buffalo chicken pizza, I kept my eye on it. A lot could happen to distract me in the next ten minutes while we waited for the check. The tricky thing was the pizza was wrapped in a red paper napkin the same shade as the red table cloth. Betting odds were not in our favor.

Just a few days earlier, Tony had wrapped lefovers to take home for his dinner that night. On our walk home, the sausage was AWOL.

"Should we go back?"

"They cleared the table long ago. Your sausage made a good lunch for a street cat."

Only a few days within the paranoid pizza watch and the missing sausage, we'd stopped at a fruit market and bought cherries and peaches. We then made a-fatal-to-the-fruit mistake: we stopped at a small market for other sundries. The market sold fruit, so anticipating a double charge, Tony showed the fruit to a lady at the front counter. She motioned to a box where we could leave it.

Uh huh. You already know.

"Should we go back?" Tony asked when we were twenty minutes past the store.

"It's a long drive."

But our curiosity got the best of us, and the next day when we drove back to the area, we took a chance.

We walked into the grocery and inquired about our fruit.

No one had seen it.

With two strikes against us, what were we going to leave behind next time?

Each other?

Actually, one time...

while riding a tandem bike in Harlem Holland, Tony peddled slowly through a crowded alleyway. I hopped off to see if he would notice.

Eventually...he did, but....it was a few small cobbled streets later. I stood in the same place so he could eventually find me--and he did.

Supposedly this is one of many reasons why middle to older-aged women are past the child-bearing years.

I read a news story about a woman who had an oops baby in her late forties. She'd taken him to the grocery store, left him in his carseat in the cart, and drove off.  It only took a few shocking moments later to realize what she'd left behind.

I'm mildly worried for the future. It may not be that I forget Tony, but that I might lose him or become unaware of him disappearing...which brings me to the time when we'd just entered the wake speed zone after a skiing day at the lake. We came upon a man who was treading water, not a soul around him. How strange, we all thought, then  pulled him aboard. He couldn't speak or move. By the time we reached the dock, he'd regained enough strength to climb out of the boat and wander off.

By the time we'd brought the car and trailer around and loaded the boat, the man returned with his wife and two fellow-elderly friends.

We had saved his life. He'd been in the boat with his friends and had fallen out, but none of them noticed; when he called for their help, nobody heard. When they got to the shore, they realized he was missing, but were completely stumped as to where he might be.

By the end of our vacation, with more almost-forgets, forgets, and worries-that-we're-going-to-forgets, than we've ever experienced, I become super conscious of the canvas I purchased in Athens. The artist wrapped it so well for travel, it looks like a large baguette and when placed in the overhead bin of an airplane, it rolls to the back. It seems to end up behind doors in our apartment and hotel. It blends in. Betting odds are against the art ever hanging on a wall in America.

Tony has a solution. "If we're both aware and ask each other where it is, then we'll remember it." The obvious problem is that we both have to be aware.

Since two heads are better than one, we forge minds to remember the canvas. But given the recent empirical evidence of our combined forgetfulness,  I lack confidence in the mind-meld plan.

I take a black pen and write on my hand: Remember the canvas.

The canvas hangs in America.

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