Su Lum: Land of the lost
August 28, 2002
Sometimes I think I could empty a large burlap bag of full-grown cats in my bedroom and five minutes later they would all have slipped away under the covers, into drawers, behind books, into pockets in the closet, and I wouldn’t be able to find one of them.
If I ever hold another Easter egg hunt, I’ll just put them all in one basket on the bed, close the door and let them do their thing.
My bedroom is small, about 12 feet by 12 feet, and contains: a double bed, a chest of drawers, a TV set, a small bedside table and three bookcases including the one in the headboard, and, except for a few piles of Important Papers, it is not particularly cluttered, not a place you’d recommend for a game of Hide and Seek.
But this room can take a remote control and sneak it into spots where even a trained bloodhound couldn’t find it; it can take a letter I held in my hand a moment ago and make it vanish. Over time, I’ve learned that the best thing to do is leave them alone, like Little Bo Peep’s sheep, and wait for things to reappear.
Last Thursday, however, my habitat abducted my reading glasses.
I have three pairs of glasses: reading, seeing and bifocals. Only the bifocals ever leave the house, bitter experience having taught me that trying to juggle several pairs of glasses is just asking for trouble: you put on one and leave the other behind, and that other is, of course, the reading glasses.
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The seeing glasses are the most dispensable ? they are convenient for watching a video or TV, but I don’t spend much time with either (Note to GrassRoots TV: Get your ACT together, this is an election year!), so if the bedroom eats the seeing glasses I can manage with the bifocals.
But I do a lot of reading, and reading with bifocals is a literal pain in the neck, during which you have to crane in uncomfortable positions to keep the words from wobbling all over the page, especially if you read lying down, which I do.
I was reading with my reading glasses Thursday night, and when I reached for them Friday morning they were gone. I did a preliminary paw through the bedcovers, under the dachshund ? the usual suspects ? to no avail. The search continued Friday night, and on Saturday had escalated to include the entire house, so totally crazed that I was looking in places like the refrigerator and the toilet tank.
On Sunday, I was a woman on a Mission. Convinced that the bedroom had the glasses, I ripped off every piece of bedding, yanked the mattress off its springs, tore off all the pillowcases, scrutinized every crook and nanny with an industrial-strength flashlight, and stood there heaving with exertion and rage.
The mind works in mysterious ways. I was asking, “Where the HELL could those glasses BE?” and at the top of my weekend “to do” list, which I was way too busy searching for the glasses to address, was “Sort the columns.”
A bunch of old columns were stuffed between the bedside table and a bookcase, and I had already been through the top layer of these a hundred times during the search, but after giving up the hunt, I told myself, “OK, get a grip,” and decided to sort the columns as a form of Occupational Therapy, like weaving potholders in a mental institution for which, at that moment I was a prime candidate.
I yanked out the pile of papers and VOILA, out tumbled my reading glasses!
[Su Lum is a longtime local who wonders what her bedroom could do with contact lenses. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.]