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It Was Here a Minute Ago

by Rose Madeline Mula

Most people have time to watch TV, read trashy novels, meander through malls, gossip on the phone, nap, daydream ...  Not me.  I can't indulge in such frivolous pursuits.  I'm too busy looking for things I've misplaced.
      In the time I've spent searching for lost keys, glasses, my pearl earrings, my favorite chili recipe, I could have written one of those trashy novels other people find time to read.  Instead, I can only dash off this short article--which is a real exercise in futility since I won't have time to send it to any publishers.  I'll be too busy looking for something.  Like my car.
      Yes, my car.  I'm always losing it...on city streets, parking lots, and once in front of my own house.  I used to rent a garage from the neighbors across the street, you see.  One night I came home late, and instead of driving into the garage, I parked smack up against a stairway that leads up an embankment to my house.  The next morning, a slave to habit, I headed for the garage.  No car!  It must have been stolen!  I rushed back across the street to call the police, but something stopped me.  My car. It was blocking the stairs.  I had actually had to squeeze past it a few minutes earlier when I went to the garage.
      I thought no one could ever top that.  But, of course, someone did.  At church last Sunday the priest's homily concerned memory lapses.  He told about a friend who had driven to Canada for a vacation.  After a few days, he flew home--and promptly reported his car stolen because it wasn't there.
      I know my "stolen" car story is true.  It happened to me.  But this parable from the pulpit is hard to believe.  Still, would a priest make something up?  Sure.  Some even write trashy novels.  (Sorry, Father Greeley).
      I'm walking on thin ice here.  I don't want to hurt any feelings in high places.  I rely on people at the top, mainly Saint Anthony and Saint Jude, when I'm really desperate to find something.  Scoff if you will.  Whenever I ask, they always come through and lead me directly to whatever had been missing.  So what's my problem?  Why do I spend hours searching for misplaced miscellany?  Why don't I just call on Tony or Jude at the outset?  Because I feel guilty diverting them from more important matters.  Like listening to all those people begging for help in finding a cure for cancer, world peace, lost hope...
      By comparison, locating that travel size bottle of shampoo that I bought for my last trip, for example, is ridiculously trivial.  I sure would like to know what happened to it though.  I clearly remember taking it out of the shopping bag and putting it on my bed, along with everything else I was packing.  Then, somehow, it disappeared.  I stripped the bed.  I checked the floor around the bed, under the bed--even the bedsprings.  That was six months ago, and it hasn't turned up yet.  Not a trace.  Maybe the dog stole it.  But if she did, she never used it;  she still looks grungy.  Baffling.
      It's not surprising that when describing me people often use the phrase, "She's lost it."  They're right.  In more ways than one.


Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.


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