I remember distinctly the last time I held it in my hands. Shiny, yellow, beautiful – a huge exhaust pipe rolling out the back billowing imaginary smoke as my hotrod peeled rubber and raced away topping speeds of 210 miles per hour. I set my favorite Hot Wheels car on top of my dresser one night, went to bed, and never saw it again. I’m sure there is a logical explanation – factory recall, aliens, jealous friends, Hot Wheel collecting criminals. I looked for it everywhere to no avail. Whenever I read Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay, I think of my car. It was just too good for this earth.
Did you ever lose something and it drove you nuts?
I lose stuff a lot. Big stuff, little stuff.
I had a jean jacket once. When I wore it, I was invincible. Cool like James Dean. All of my friends had them. When we felt cocky, we’d flip the collars up. In truth, we always felt cocky so they may as well have been starched. Those were the days
By the time I settled down into a job, that jacket had lived a pretty good life and didn’t really fit into a young professional wardrobe. It hung in the closet alone. Every once in a while, I would get it out just to smell it. It had the scent of autumn, the great outdoors, cheap perfume, debauchery, friendship and youth all rolled into one. I never dared wash it, lest I forget.
Then it was gone. On a chilly night, my girlfriend took it from my closet to warm her on her way home. I married the girl, but never saw my jean jacket again.
Was she jealous of the jacket? I don’t know. There are two predominant theories:
- She tried to wash it but couldn’t make the smell go away or the collar go down.
- She washed it and realized it would never be the same. Ruined.
She swears she never took it. (It’s not like I have a history of losing stuff…)
And then, there are these polka-dotted shoes she owned. I hated those shoes. Somehow, in a move, they disappeared. Although I shoulder the blame, I will go to my grave denying I had anything to do with their demise.
What happens to the stuff we lose? When we get to heaven, will there be a pile of it waiting for us? If so, I fear my pile will be huge. However big my mansion is, the closets are likely stuffed full already. Maybe when I show up, St. Peter will hand me my jean jacket so I can inhale it in pure oxygen while I vroom my little yellow car across the clouds. I hope it smells the same, although they probably filter debauchery scents.
My wife can dance through the mist in her shoes I did NOT destroy.
Who knows where all of the stuff goes. One of the great mysteries of life.
The question is: does it matter? Am I the poorer for losing stuff?
Nah… Stuff is just stuff and most times, the memories are better than the stuff ever was. I never filled out that jacket as well as I remember. The collar should have stayed neatly down. But in my memory and a couple of pictures I have yet to lose, I was legendary.