This post may be a little over-titled, but it does capture somewhat the initial reaction I had to something that happened just the other day. Back in July I posted about "The Pocketknife," a Camillus Stockman-pattern knife I have carried since I was a young teenager. Well, the other day I lost it, after more than fifty years of daily carry.
These days my "moments of panic" are few and far between. I've learned that they accomplish little or nothing and only cloud clear, action-oriented thinking. Still, the thought of losing such an old friend was bracing and very unpleasant.
Of course, it wasn't the first time I had lost or misplaced a treasured item. Over the years I have learned that the best thing to do is backtrack step by step and try to re-create the last time you had knowledge of its whereabouts. But despite the cool, calculated approach to solving the mystery I went through the usual ritual of searching the same places several times. Don't we all do that: Rummage through the same drawer or jacket pocket four or five times just in case we "missed it" the first few times? Surely it must be a kind of low-grade OCD.
No joy. It was nowhere. I began to think of outside. Did I drop it out of my pocket when I took the dog for her prairie run in the UTV? When I was chain-sawing some logs out front? I solaced myself with the knowledge that I have never dropped a knife out of a holeless pants pocket before and didn't see why I would start now. Finally, I decided to just chill out, in the almost certain knowledge that the knife would turn up, in its own time, when I would be able to say "Of course!" In the interests of sanity, I would just put it out of my mind.
I had a similar situation last winter when a leather pocket notebook I have carried for many years turned up missing. As in this most recent case, I finally relaxed and put it in the hands of the gods. Sure enough, the notebook turned up and the joy of reunion was pleasant. Things. We're not supposed to value them to such an extent, but the flesh is weak.
I had just finished doing a little shooting at my pistol range yesterday when a blue-whistler of a thought struck me like a falling limb. The day before discovery of The Great Loss I had received some mil-surp clothing in the mail. I had opened the package with my knife, tried on a pair of the trousers, and noticed that it had a paper tag stitched to the pocket. I used the knife to carefully cut the threads and remove the tags. Then I hung the pants in the closet.
In the certainty of knowing exactly what I would feel, I went to the closet and reached into the left front pocket of the new trousers. There she was. Eureka. It was a good feeling. I immediately took the temporary replacement knife back to the drawer it came from and dropped my old chum into its accustomed place.
All's well that ends well...