What have we lost and what have we found?
Which do we remember the most?
I left my wallet in a phone booth in Boston and ten seconds later ran back and got it.
I lost a fountain pen with a nib made of 14-carat gold.
My dad gave me a ring that was made from a fifty-cent piece.
It was his pay for doing eight hours of carpentry work.
The ring was too loose on my finger and came off without my awareness.
I really regret losing that ring.
I recently lost my red vest-jacket with a 100% wool cap inside one of its zippered pockets.
I haven't found too many things.
I found a ten-dollar bill in the mud (while it was still raining).
A five-dollar bill came out of a book of mine, and fluttered into my lap like manna from the heavens.
I forgot that I had stuck it inside this book.
I put bills inside my books to flatten the bills and make them look crisp and new, saving them for a rainy (and broke) day.
There are some things that are not exactly lost, but it feels as though we have lost them because we have given them away---of our own free will---when someone else needed them more than we did.
One night I was returning to my Bohemian apartment on Pearl Street in Boulder.
I was probably coming back from some foreign art film.
The University of Colorado showed a lot of these films for just one dollar and I rarely missed any of them.
I was outside the door that opened up to a long flight of stairs to my apartment.
I couldn’t open the door because a tall white boy was blocking my way and punching this black boy.
The black boy had his coat wrapped half-way down his arms, and he was straight-jacketed, unable to move his arms and defend himself.
The white kid was doing a lot of pummeling in a dirty and unfair fight.
Instead of just pushing one of them aside, I hit the white boy on the hard part of his head with my right fist.
It did the trick.
They stopped fighting, but my middle finger hurt like hell.
I don’t think I broke it, but for years that particular digit was always in pain, and especially when the cold weather arrived.
Anyway, the black boy just happened to be staying in my apartment (one of my roommates had taken pity on him and invited him to crash).
The next thing I know I’m walking up the stairs to my apartment behind him who I had just rescued.
His name was Drummond and his pants began falling down.
This was not a pleasant sight at all.
I asked him, “Where’s your belt?”
He said, “I don’t know.”
I quickly took off my belt and gave it to him.
“Here. You can have mine,” I said.
“My pants are a little tight, and I don’t need this belt.”
Well, before I knew what I had done, I had given away one of my prized possessions (Actually, it was the only one I had at the time.)
The buckle had been made by a friend of mine.
It was in the shape of the OM symbol (in Sanskrit letters) and was made from bronze.
I felt as though I had lost something even though I had given it away.
Que sera sera.