Friday, May 27, 2005

blogger loses something, restores family solidarity

I can't get the bloody link to work. This blogger calls himself but the link doesn't take you to him. (I'd like to give him credit, though.)

I lost my keys and my wallet within one hours time. And I do not lose things. I know you don't have much to go on if you're just some random stranger looking at me.

But I am not lying when I tell you that I do not lose things. Of course, like everyone, I HAVE lost things. My aunt Bernice insists that I lost some pendant she had let me play with during a Christmas celebration in 1976. That's right, your vision did not deceive you. My 50something year old aunt is still blaming me for losing something when I was three years old.

And the crazy thing is:

These stories stick to your life like a criminal record. Because maybe in the rest of my thirty three years I've misplaced or had to look for three things (and I'm being generous with this number) and one of my siblings or my parent, or another of my damnable aunts would say:

Oh, but...


Aunt Bernice?

And these stories get leaked out of your family to the general public, too. If you ever have the misfortune of having the general public meet your family-of-origin.

Which is precisely what happened with Brittany. When I first brought her to a family Thanksgiving, Aunt Bernice (bitter old hag...) filled her ear with the apocryphal story of the missing pendant. That night when I delivered the mashed potatoes to the table without a serving spoon, my mother looked at me:

David, honey?


Did you forget the spoon?

A beat while I look around the table (my mistake. *this loss*, the loss of my presence of mind for only this second, is the only thing I actually regret losing in this post...)

Aunt Bernice, to my chagrin, did not miss a beat:

Or maybe he lost it!

HOWLS of uproarious laughter! ....This was the kind of hysterical laughing that sprung not from any genuine or improvisational mirth. This laughter was a collective expression of relief on the part of a group practically bereft of any common sensibility. But OH! this thing we share. Little David and his Losing Things. Ha. Ha. Fucking Ha.)

Seriously, they didn't stop laughing even when I brought the spoon.

My mother patted my cheek over her shoulder.... This gesture on the part of my mother was proof positive that I had been scapegoated here. All the fears of the family that the recent falling out between Aunt Beverly and Aunt ReeseAnn would rent us into a million unrelated strands of loosely connected strangers (not unlike most modern american families and not unlike the structure of the internet...), were resolved in this laughter.

So the fact that I'm owning this absence...Keys, Wallet....Is not a confession of general guilt. It is a repudiation of this large myth and a simple statement of frustrating fact. Improbable. But true.

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