Unmasked.

Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.

-Oscar Wilde

So I had a doctor’s appointment. I drove to the office, found the parking garage unusually crowded but got a space on the sixth floor, put on my mask, gave my hands a spritz with the hand sanitizer, and hit the elevator buttons with my elbows. At the office I went to check in and a nurse said, “Oh, yes, I remember you, you were here just last week.”

No, actually I hadn’t been there in six months, and last time I came in I wasn’t wearing a mask. At least I don’t think I was. Six months was ten years ago. Anyway I realized the nurse probably recognized my mask, having seen someone wearing one like it in the last week. That reminded me of the first Halloween after Star Wars came out. I went out with my friends in my C-3PO costume, which was one of those with the crappy plastic mask and the crappy and the flimsy plastic coveralls that you pulled on over your regular clothes, although at least the C-3PO costume sort of looked like C-3PO with its canary yellow color. It wasn’t one of those that had the character’s name emblazoned on the chest, as though Batman got tired of telling criminals “I’m Batman!” and just went around saying, “Read the cheap plastic smock!” I don’t remember what my friends were wearing but at one house the woman handing out candy said to me, “I saw another little boy who looked just like you!” And I sarcastically thought, but didn’t say, Lady, Star Wars came out this summer. You must have had at least a dozen Luke Skywalkers, all of ‘em with ‘Luke Skywalker’ on their cheap plastic smocks.” Then I looked in my bag and saw she was giving out Mounds bars and I went back two more times, once with another kid also in a C-3PO costume, but that’s another story.

Anyway I went into the doctor’s office and got poked, prodded, had blood drawn, and eventually got to see the doctor. I got my wiper fluid topped up and they looked under the hood. Everything checked out so I went back to the the fifth floor to the car to go home. I walked down the aisle and the car wasn’t there. It wasn’t just gone. There was a completely different car in its place. I hadn’t been in there that long but I thought maybe I’d forgotten where I was parked. I pulled out the keychain and clicked the “lock” button. I heard the car beep. I pressed it again. I heard it beep again. It was close, so close I sounded like I was right under it, but for some reason I couldn’t find it.

Did you figure out what I did? If so give yourself five—no, six—bonus points.

 

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11 Comments

  1. BarbaraM

    You’re slowly creeping up on the age where things just ‘disappear’ with no good reason! Welcome to the ‘But first….” club.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yeah, it’s all part of the fun of getting older. And it doesn’t help that I’ve done the “why did I come into this room again?” thing my whole life.

      Reply
  2. Moonwatcher51

    Yes. That is why the clicker is so handy. Maybe we need to develop echolocation ability as we mature.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Of course, when we most need echolocation ability is when our hearing starts to go. Oh life, will you never tire of playing games with us?

      Reply
  3. M.L. James

    Are you friends with Stephen Wright?
    M.L. James recently posted…And in the End…My Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      We’ve never been introduced but I did listen to my copy of I Have A Pony at least three thousand times in college.

      Reply
  4. Jill Everson

    This always happened to me, I forgot where I park… 😀

    Reply
  5. mydangblog

    Wrong floor of the garage? I’ve lost my car in parking garages more times than I can count. Thank goodness for the remote lock that beeps!
    mydangblog recently posted…Creative Wednesdays – The Singular Discrepancy Between Poet And ObjectMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes–wrong floor of the garage. I parked on the sixth floor and when I returned I went to the fifth floor. Although the floors are colour-coded I didn’t stop to think about that–they’re all mostly gray anyway.

      Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    I’d always recognize you, Chris, as a kindred soul, with or without a mask.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      In these times I’d rather be recognized with a mask, and, with all due respect to Oscar Wilde, that is the truth.

      Reply

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