Thursday, March 15, 2007

dispatch from philadelphia

Sara and I took the train here together for the Eastern Sociological Society meetings. I bought a salad at the station but forgot to grab a fork. I picked up my ticket off the tray and went back to the cafe car for one. When I came back, the conductor was coming down the aisle to take tickets. I reached into my pocket for my ticket and it wasn't there. I looked all around my seat, in my bag, in my coat pocket. I went back to the cafe car and looked to see if I dropped it. The conductor went by, clearly hoping I would just find my ticket and not have to call into motion whatever Amtrak machinery there is for lost tickets. I looked all around my seat again, my bag again, my coat pocket again. I had Sara stand up so we could look and make sure it somehow hadn't fallen underneath her or into her backpack. I looked all around my seat, in my bag. I checked my cell phone to make sure that I had the Amtrak confirmation number in case I needed it with the conductor. I looked all around my seat, in my bag, and there the ticket was, right there the first thing I saw when I opened my bag. I understand the logical inference is that it had been in my bag all along and I just didn't see it when I was going through my bag looking specifically for it, as opposed to the ticket having some kind of magical invisibility or teleportation properties.

I said to Sara, "Welcome to my world. This is every day for me. It's like you just got to witness the ten minute abridgement of the story of my life."
"I'm not that surprised. You have told me how in the last year you've lost your iPod, cell phone, coat--"
"Did I tell you I lost an air conditioner?"
"How did you lose an air conditioner?"
"Remember how I bought two air conditioners, even though I ended up only installing one. I put the other one down in the basement and--"
"Later you took it back to the store."
"Oh, wait, you're right. I forgot that's what I did. Well, I can stop being perplexed about that."


Absolut said...

That was pretty painful to read so I can only imagine how painful it is to live.

sal said...


nina said...

Yes, happy birthday! And though you do appear to lose things with regular frequency, it really truly happens to all of us. So that these days, when traveling for example, I regularly check my purse to make sure that my passport hasn't leaked out magically through the bottom, because maybe the bag seam came undone and then magically, after the passport leaked out, it sewed itself up again, and so I check. I worry about this because it seems that this is what happened last May when I was traveling. There is no other explanation why one minute the passport was there, the next minute it was not. And over the years, it happens more and more that things just are not in the place that they are instructed to be. And it's nice to know that for nearly all these problems, there is Master Card. (If you haven't lost it.)

jess said...

Happy Birthday, Jeremy!

Let's hope you don't lose anything else - except some weight, perhaps, if that's what you're aiming for - at the meetings.

Sister A said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEREMY!!!! I hope you have a fantastic day!!! Love you!

Lucy said...

Another case closed. Maybe you should offer Sara a job as your sidekick, Boy Detective. :)
Happy birthday!

Your bigger older brother said...

Hey Jeremy, happy birthday! You'll find increased bouts of forgetfulness is proportional to increases in age. Hang in there.

eszter said...

Nina, you're funny.

Jeremy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you found a more fun way to celebrate than this incident.

I just lost my pedometer, so I guess no use in going on walks anymore. (JK)

jeremy said...

Thanks so much for the birthday wishes!

jeremy said...

Nina: As a matter of fact, I have lost my MasterCard, but that's a whole different story.

Polly said...

I found your blog via Jay Livingston's. Hmm. I think I was related to you in a previous life. Or maybe I should have been a socialist -- whoops that's Segolene Royal -- I mean a sociologist.

Anyway. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Palindrome invitation is the best.

I'm compiling "overheard" American dialogues in Paris.