“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding people together, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time.”—Carl Sagan, Cosmos (via thatkindofwoman)
Saturday afternoon when I was leaving New York City I was in a daze. I was hungover and tired and I was reading a book on the subway as I was headed to JFK for a flight back to Portland, Maine. I was on the A train. At Rockaway Blvd the conductor made an announcement the train was going to a…
“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”—Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (via feellng)
I lost my most important pouch of my most important things
Saturday afternoon when I was leaving New York City I was in a daze. I was hungover and tired and I was reading a book on the subway as I was headed to JFK for a flight back to Portland, Maine. I was on the A train. At Rockaway Blvd the conductor made an announcement the train was going to a different final destination than it had first appeared (Lefferts), and I was startled to see other passengers get up quickly and get off, being as I was so immersed in my book, so I too got up quickly to exit the train and to wait for the correct A train (Far Rockaway) at the platform. The train came maybe five minutes later and I was once again on my way.
But something happened in that space between, when I got up off the first A train and onto the second. Somehow I lost my most important pouch of my most important things. A small bag I always keep on me, where I keep things like pills I may need at any given moment, a tampon or two, my house keys to my apartment in California, and in this rare case — my jewelry. Specifically, my mother’s jewelry. The ring she was wearing when she died, a ring that her mother gave her when she was younger, a ring that she loved and I loved, and I wore every single day in her memory.
Except for when I was traveling because sometimes wearing rings and bracelets and necklaces can be cumbersome when you are going from subway to AirTrain to airport security.
So the ring was inside my most important pouch. As was one of my mother’s necklaces, and a signet ring of mine, along with two bracelets.
There was other stuff in the pouch, like my prescription eye drops and some Burt’s Bees chapstick, but the most important thing, of all the things, was that ring.
The pouch did not make it from one train to another. Now it is gone. Missing. Somehow I made it off that first A train, but that pouch didn’t. At some point I had moved things around in my bag, like my coat, and later I took out my eyedrops and used them. But the pouch didn’t make it back in, and I was too tired and too distracted and too immersed in my book and too rushed to get off the wrong train and onto the right one to think to stop and look around and make sure I had all my belongings.
Because I didn’t stop and look around and make sure. And now those things are lost. I filed a claim with MTA lost and found and I’ve tweeted a description of the pouch that has been graciously retweeted and shared by lots of people on Twitter, but still, as of now, those things are gone. My beloved ring. My late mother’s ring.
I am so disappointed, but I will do my best to remain hopeful that perhaps a good and kind person stumbled upon this small white pouch with a navy anchor on one side, and they will have seen the things inside and thought that this was surely something important to someone, and maybe they turned it in somewhere and somehow it will find its way back to me.
But I feel lost and sad and as though I let my mother down, even though I know I didn’t and I am only human and these things happen. And losing her ring and necklace isn’t so bad as losing her, which is a pain I’ve already had to bear, and they are all just things. I know that.
But sometimes things mean more, and in this case they do and they did, and now I must mourn another small piece of my mom that has disappeared, and I am so very sad.
So I ask of you, kind reader, whether or not you are in New York or in California or in Timbuktu or wherever — please share this post, please spread the word, please help me try to reclaim this pouch of important things, and most importantly, that ring.
It is just a small thing but it means a great big thing to me, and who knows, maybe someone somewhere has already found it and is waiting for someone on the internet to post about their missing items, and my ring will no longer be lost and it will be found. And then I will get a little piece of my mother back, and a small reminder of her determination and courage can once again sit on my left hand pinky finger, delicate bands of interlocking metals, of gold and silver and bronze, that fit together so perfectly, that are now lost, but I hope, with your help, will be found.