Recently, on a trip to Maine, I did the impressive feat of leaving behind almost everything I had brought. The first night I was there, we stayed at my friend Nick's parent's house in Harpswell. We had been to a party the night before at a house at the very tip of the peninsula. The long walk we took to the house and the cold mist from the ocean, near on both sides but unseen in the starless night, warranted bundling up. When we got back to his parent's house I tossed my coat onto a chair in the bedroom, fell asleep and in the flurry of morning activity, left it there.
We had already driven two hours north to Corinna's parents before I realized it was gone. We were going to help her father stack wood and I brought in my travel bag so I could change out of my dress into jeans and long underwear and layers of shirts. Needless to say, after the activity of the day and a long dinner, my travel bag had migrated to an forgotten spot behind the front door and was also left behind. Sometimes I really amaze myself.
I have often wished for the super power of being able to clap my hands and have a thin, impermeable beam of light rise up from the missing object. Or travel to the World of Lost Things in Netherland where Peter Pan could help my find that lost sock, earring, book.
When I was a teenager, I lost my passport during a trip to Holland. After many days of anxiously waiting, I received a call that my passport had been recovered. I took a tram to an address way on the outskirts of Amsterdam. There in an innocuous, square, government building I found a room bursting with stacks of passports, piles of worn leather wallets and a whole wall full of dangling keys. And this was just the anteroom! It was a veritable world of lost things. I wonder how many objects find their way to their owners and what remains there still.