This is a photo Neil sent me this morning. The subject may look like ordinary sunglasses (although, being designed for cycling, they’re not glass at all but plastic, quite bendy and fairly indestructible – let’s face it, a good idea for me) but these glasses have a story. I bought them in France a couple of years ago, and I haven’t seen them for the best part of a year. Like clothes hangers, they disappeared from my life and took a trip around the universe before returning.
I can’t remember when I last saw them. Neither can Neil (apparently). They were with me when I was on holiday last summer; I wore them when I cycled the Central Otago Rail Trail. At some point after our return I looked for them to wear on a ride. Where I was I can’t tell you but, when I couldn’t find them, I presumed they were in the other place I live. As I did with the coat hangers, I looked for them when I returned there. As I did with the hangers, I thought I must have missed them originally and they were back where I’d already looked. As happened with the hangers, this went on a while, my mind to-ing and fro-ing as often as my body. Finally, in angry frustration, as I did with the hangers, I slammed the door on any hope and gave them up as lost.
I stared at the photo and laughed. Then swore. Neil found the glasses in the pocket of a sports bag. The bag is not something we use often, neither of us playing any sport that requires carrying clothing for such sport to a place where we would change into it. I can’t, for the life of me, remember why we own it, but we have done so for many years. The bag is usually stuffed, with others of its ilk, in a larger bag, this in turn stuffed under a bed/in the loft/in the shower, depending on where we’re living.
The only reason it was blinking in unaccustomed light is that Neil used it a couple of days earlier to cart his motorbike gear into the office. It would have remained wherever he stuffed it when he got home from work that evening had he, as intended, picked up his new motorbike the next day. But the weather forecast was for heavy rain and hail, so he deferred collection until the weekend. (Incidentally, the forecast was wrong and it stayed fine. I think Mr Sod may have been involved.) Neil carried the bag, empty, to work again this morning and, whilst trying to cram motorcycle leathers and gloves into it for the second time in a week, found the glasses in its pocket.
There are many questions I would like answers to. How did he not find the glasses when he used the bag earlier this week? How did I not find them when I used it for our recent move? I know I did use it; I remember unpacking shoes from it. How, when I am absolutely positively (apologies to Wellington City’s marketing team) sure I checked every pocket of every bag, sports or otherwise, that we own, when I was looking for the damn glasses earlier this year, can they have been found there? Is Neil not as naive about gaslighting as he claims to be? I know I shall never find the answers to these questions. Like the hangers, their whereabouts over the last few months shall forever remain a mystery. It’s not annoying in the slightest. Not at all. I’m just going to go and huddle in a corner and curse quietly for a while. Feel free to come along with caffeine or alcohol and rescue me.