A Short Sketch
“Sara,” I shouted into the kitchen, “have you seen my beanie? The beige Woolrich one.”
I was on my knees at the basket in the hall, pawing through scarves and gloves and hats, tossing them onto the floor around me. Scarves to the left, gloves to the right, hats behind me.
Oh, here’s that glove I was looking for last year, I said to myself as I removed another item.
“What?” Sara said as she came to the door of kitchen.
“My beanie,” I said, still sorting through the basket. “My favorite stocking cap. The one I wear on our walks. Do you know where it is?”
“Why would I know where your hat is?” she answered.
Fair question, I thought, but not helpful.
“Did you look at the drying rack in the office?” she asked.
“I did, but I didn’t see it.”
“I’ll look again.” This time there was a hint of a sigh in her voice.
I have, I must admit, been known to misplace a few things. There was the glove that I discovered after a few days on the side of our lane. And the phone that ended up at the Garda station. But I’ve never lost anything permanently. I like to claim that things aren’t lost, they just haven’t been found.
The beanie wasn’t in the office. Or in the lounge. Or in the kitchen.
“Did you leave it in a shop when you were in town?” she said.
“I don’t wear it into town. I like to look smart when I do the shop.”
“Are you sure?” she prodded.
Another fair question. I retraced my steps over the last few days.
“No, I wore my flat cap with my brown scarf on Thursday when I ran into David’s to get prawns, because it was windy. And I wore my brown Stetson, (or was it the black Stetson? No, definitely the brown) with that scarf from Santa Fe to Jerry’s and O’Connor’s on Friday because the wind had died down. I only wear the stocking caps on our walks because my ears get cold.”
“You have way too many hats,” she said, looking at the hats on the hooks under the stairs and strewn around me on the floor. Six of them are on the wall, plus assorted others in the basket.
“But I like hats,” I pouted.
“Are you sure you didn’t drop it when we were walking?” An accusatory tone had crept into her voice.
“Impossible. I never take it off my head,” I said, frantically running through our last walk in my head. “I would never lose it on a walk.”
“I’ll just order you another one on Amazon,” she said, giving into the inevitable.
“Not yet,” I answered. “I’m sure it will turn up when we least expect it.”
And so we left it for a few days, but my beanie never surfaced. I had resigned myself to living the rest of my days without my favorite stocking cap.
More than a week later, we were walking down our lane, chatting away. Lucy raced around us, nose to the ground.
Sara pointed off in the distance to the hill near town.
“Isn’t the color on that house beautiful?” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it before.”
I followed her pointing finger. And there it was, perched atop a fence post. My beanie. Left by some neighbor who probably thought, “That eejit American lost his cap. I’ll set it up here, so, and maybe he’ll see it.”
“Would you look at that, Sara? My beanie!”
Sara smiled at me triumphantly. “And what do you have to say for yourself?” she asked.
“I told you it wasn’t lost. It just hadn’t been found yet.”
We continued our walk, my beanie in my hand.