When Friends Are Missing and Missed (March 18, 2012)

painting-of-litle-girl-1890-1895-camarlench-849-1916-us-public-domain-published-before-1923-commons-wikimedia-org  (Camarlench,1849-1916)

I think I lost a friend.

Oh, at first I thought I might have just misplaced her– I’m really so forgetful these days. So I looked in all the usual places.

I looked behind the curtains and in my email inbox. I looked in the plastic storage box where I keep my ‘important’ papers. I looked in the eyes of the shoe salesman at Nordstrom and the Starbucks barista. I looked in my cell phone contacts and in the inside zipper compartment of my purse. I looked in all these places, but my friend wasn’t to be found.

I’m not thinking hard enough, I told myself. I have to look some more.

I walked along a trail and looked into the birds’ songs. I traipsed through alleyways and looked in the rain puddles. I looked in the glossy black fur of tiny sausage-shaped dogs. I looked inside a gust of wind left in the wake of a speeding foreign sports car.

I looked in all these places, and still there was no sign of my friend.

Well, no matter, I thought, when my search came to an end. The wealth of friends and family has made me the Queen of Sheba. I can reach into my treasure chest to replace the one I lost.

But I couldn’t find the perfect replacement for my missing friend. One who can laugh while she cries or cry while she laughs. One who keeps me on the edge of my seat while my brain works overtime to decipher the mysterious nuances of her half-finished sentences. One who drips with so much style I feel like Little Orphan Annie in her presence. One who sees excitement and adventure even in the mundane.

There were no replacements for her inside the treasure chest. And there were no replacements for the others who were still there.

I have a feeling that one day, my hand will reach under the cushion of the sofa and, just like the missing key chain, she will be there. Or I’ll strike a piano key and, upon hearing a false note, I’ll lift the top only to find her perched alongside the missing cell phone.

I have a feeling which I know to be true.