The One That Got Away.

speakerThere’s a story here. Really, I know there’s a story here somewhere if I could just find it. I’m almost certain I left the house with it this morning. I don’t remember taking it anywhere else where I might have left it although I’ve been carrying it around for a while. But I know I had it last night and, like I said, I’m pretty positive I had it with me this morning. Fairly sure at the very least. I’m convinced enough that I’d give myself pretty good odds if someone were to bet me that I had it.

I could start asking around but then I’d have to deal with some annoying and ridiculous questions and suggestions like:

Have you tried retracing your steps?

Yes, half a dozen times now. I even tried a couple of alternate routes because, you know, I don’t always go the same way every morning and while I believe I remember the way I came I wouldn’t absolutely swear that I didn’t take another path. I wasn’t fully awake and it was kind of foggy out which distracted me a little bit.

Where was the last place you had it?

If I knew that I’d know where to start looking jackass.

Is it in the place where you usually keep it?

I already told you I’ve been carrying it around with me. What do you think? That it’s somewhere on my body and I don’t realize it? Hey, that might actually work. Let me check. Nope, not anywhere here. I even did that trick where I hold up a mirror to a mirror and, wait, is that really what my head looks like from the back? Weird.

Have you tried hypnosis?

Does that even really work? Let’s just say that it did. Where am I going to find a hypnotist?

Remember: you always find something in the last place you look.

Oh, thanks a lot, this from the same jackass who asked “Where was the last place you had it?”

What does it look like?

Now that’s a good question. For starters it’s chock full of metaphors. Or similes. I always get those mixed up. I had an English teacher who told us we could always remember similes because they make things similar to each other. I asked how we could remember metaphors and she didn’t have an answer for that. The kid next to me said “Well, they’re meta for…” and then he mumbled that he’d get back to me with the rest of it. He never did. Who knows what “meta” is anyway? Maybe he was thinking about synecdoches.

What else can I say about what it looks like? It’s got a surprising twist near the end. That should help. I mean it’s pretty distinctive because it’s not something you’d see coming. It’s gripping, compelling, and impossible to turn away from which should make it really obvious because there should be a bunch of people gathered around staring at it, at least if I dropped it somewhere really public. If it’s in the bushes or something then I’m done for.

I could also say it’s about yay high, but who knows how high a yay is?

It’s got a strong, character-driven plot and an overarching theme. That should help. Really it should. I was using the theme as a handle.

That reminds me. I think I stopped somewhere to tie my shoe. I must have set it down when I did that but I don’t remember where I stopped. I’ve got these new shoes and I need to get some different laces for them because, really, I can’t walk ten feet without one of them getting untied.

The specific genre might help too but I’m kind of lost there because it’s really a stream of consciousness narrative based on an urban legend that was actually derived from a work of historical fiction. I think there was also some romance and a bit of mystery and since it was pretty recent it had to have something about vampires.

Also it’s covered in gravy.

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  1. Ann Koplow

    There was a story there, Chris. Yay high. Or, just yay!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yay for this comment! And in one of life’s wonderful coincidences I just read this quote from Lorrie Moore: “If one loves stories, then one would naturally love the story of the story.”

  2. Jay

    It’s way harder retracing mental steps!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It is! Have you ever had the experience of stopping to wonder why you’re thinking about something and trying to trace back your train of thought? Mine always lead me into some scary tunnels.

  3. Sarah

    If I find it, I’ll snap some handcuffs on and return the story pronto!!! 🙂 I like how all of your posts are so unique/different from the last one. If you’re not hunting for the one that got away, you’re sharing your love for the octopus. If you’re not sharing the origins of spinach bread, you’re sharing a rejection letter (in the most engaging and amusing way possible, mind you.) Can you tell I’m a fan of your blog??

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yes and I’m fine with that as long as you don’t go all Misery on me if I ever stop saying “But that’s another story.” And that story may be able to slip out of the handcuffs like Houdini. Handcuffs weren’t the only thing Houdini could slip out of either, which reminds me of a funny story. He was performing for some Harvard students and was getting ready to jump into Miller’s River handcuffed. He stripped down and had on blue swim trunks. The students protested that he should be wearing Harvard crimson, not Duke blue, so he stripped off his swim trunks. Maybe he was then crimson-faced but Houdini was such a showoff I doubt it.

  4. Spoken Like A True Nut

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think it might have run off with that orchestral piece I was composing last week that escaped me somewhere on the drive home from work.

    I hope they’re happy together, the lousy traitors.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That must be it. Even know they’re probably performing in a lounge run by a runaway dish and spoon and eating steaks made from a crazy cow that exploded in the vacuum of space when it jumped over the moon.

  5. Elyse

    Ummm. I think I have it. For work right now (well, when I finish goofing off) I am working on an article about how when you find something you haven’t really always found the correct something. Because maybe you were looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place. Life is so damn confusing!

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s it! I just need to change the thing I’m looking for. That’s actually the ideal solution to a lot of things, and a principle I’ve applied to other areas of my life but never to this. Maybe I should but I’m afraid I’ll just make life even more confusing.

  6. Margot

    Remember to check your pockets tonight before you put your clothes in the laundry—if not you’ll probably find it in dry, illegible scraps in the dryer in a few days.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Every evening I completely empty my pockets and yet somehow loose change still ends up in the dryer. That’s probably where I will find the story. I shudder to think what’s going to happen to the gravy. Hopefully it’ll get washed out in the rinse cycle.

  7. BarbaraM

    A yay is as high as an “or so”. For future reference.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’ll calibrate my measuring devices accordingly.


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