20 Lost Items
1. Right ear – Pre-birth, 1980s
Approximately 1 out of every 10,000 people is born without one or both ears. It is called “microtia.” One of those people is KISS guitarist Paul Stanley. Another one is me. It’s totally fine. I’m totally fine. If you do ever find my right ear, just let me know by whispering something into it. Speak softly; it’s never been used.
2. Baseball mitt – Backyard, 1987
The loss of this glove prompted my father to tell me he only had one baseball glove his entire childhood. He took care of it. He oiled it every day. This may have been a lie. I was as terrible at owning a baseball glove as I was at playing with a baseball glove — so it was probably for the best. If you find this please mail it to my father.
3. Tooth – 3rd base, 1989
I unwittingly ripped this mother out of my mouth, Ron Swanson-style, mid-kickball game. However, unlike Ron Swanson, I used my bare hands. If you are looking for it, you might want to check my jeans or the pocket of my reversible Bugle Boy jacket. Feel free to redeem it for 25 cents from the Tooth Fairy or a weird guy in an alley who buys teeth.
4. Complete set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures – Park Avenue School, 1990
These weren’t lost; they were stolen. Bradley borrowed them and never gave them back. After a few weeks, I summoned all of my courage and politely asked for them back. He just pretended not to know what I was talking about and spoke some words in a weird Muppet-style voice to unsuccessfully distract me. He went on to a successful career in media.
5. Concord 110 EF camera – Bronx Zoo Pavilion, 1992
This camera is probably one of the nicest shades of a color I will call “toothpaste aqua” that I have ever seen. The first place I would look for it would be the table by the concession stand. If anyone finds this camera and develops the film inside, they will have approximately 17 shots of the same lion and one of my sister and me sticking our heads up in the Prairie dog town. The other six exposures will be blank because I never finished the roll. After you remove the film, you will discover the perfect place to hide several Nerds or Smarties or a note about lions.
6. Old Navy fleece – Not Jamie’s house, 1996
If you find this fleece, it is light grey with dark grey piping and it doesn’t have any weed in it. I have never smoked weed. However, I may have given someone money to buy it, briefly possessed it, lost half in a fleece, and given the other half away to someone’s older sister because the police were doing a random locker search and I was freaking out! I said I “may” have.
My mother insisted this fleece was at Jamie’s house. I really didn’t leave it there. Jamie and I combed her house looking for it. We didn’t overlook anything. Jamie’s house was not under enemy fire. We had tons of time to thoroughly scour the place. There was no blizzard of down-market fleeces into which mine could have disappeared. Jamie and I even linked arms and walked across her living room as if my fleece had gone temporarily missing at a lake. It was not there. My mother would still like me to check the next time I’m at Jamie’s house in 1996.
7. Asics running sneakers – Cross Country Meet, Van Cortland Park, 1999
The first place I would look for them is by the bathroom. If you find them, you can keep them; I’ve since replaced them. I’d like the mud that covers them returned to me, though. I earned that mud.
8. V card – [Redacted], 2000
Sleeping with a woman is probably one of the gayest things I’ve ever done.
9. Wallet – Steps of Low Library, 2001
I wanted to tell the policeman that my wallet was stolen. However, it wasn’t stolen. It was just in a bag I left on the steps after sitting there for a few minutes. I arrived to the steps with one bag. I got up a few minutes later and left the steps with zero bags.
That is the kind of thing people usually notice quickly. However, I walked almost half a mile before realizing that I was without 100% of the bags I had previously been carrying. In that time, someone had found my bag with cash, wallet, and other important possessions and turned it in to the police. This would be the first of many, many lost wallet experiences of which I have listed only two. This is why there is a folder of credit card replacement information in my file cabinet marked “the inevitable.”
10. First Love – California Intersection, 2002
11. $20 – Chinatown, 2003
I would start by looking for this $20 in the pocket of that scam artist who told us to check out the “really good” handbags in the back of his “store” on Canal Street. I didn’t even want a handbag — my history with them is, as you know, terrible. I was just with two people who did want them: my younger sister and her friend. If he doesn’t have the $20, then you might want to also check the storage container into which we were locked with an elderly Chinese woman during the police raid.
12. Motorola i730 – Lower East Side, 2004
The guy who found my phone and forced me to pick it up at a romantic café was named “Charlie,” so you could start by checking with him. I think he was going for a “meet-cute.” All I could provide him was a “meet-awkward.” If he doesn’t know, then just follow the Merengue ringtone.
13. Wallet – Could be anywhere really, 2005
It would be funny if this were not the second time I had lost my wallet in the past six months. I was so mad I could have punched an owl wearing a graduation cap. If you know anything about me, then you know I love both accessorized birds and Wise potato chips. Therefore, I was obviously pretty distraught.
14. 700,000 hair elastics – Whereabouts unknown, 1995-2006
I would check the stick shift of any car I ever drove when I had long hair. Otherwise, ask my sisters.
15. My job – Upper West Side, 2005
When you agree to be a personal assistant, make sure your boss plans to remain in the country and not move away permanently, thusly eliminating your job. Also, make sure she realizes that Francs have been demonetized, so you cannot buy them for her at the bank. Lastly, if she called you from her cell phone to find out her cell phone number — this should be a sign to proceed with caution. Essentially, if you’d like to find this job, look for a crazy person and inquire about employment opportunities.
16. Dog – Elevator, 2007
If your dog ever bolts onto an empty elevator just as the doors close, make sure to throw the leash handle through the quickly diminishing crack like I did. Temporarily losing your dog is better than permanently losing her. Then pause in the lobby for a minute until you fully comprehend what has happened. Proceed to sprint up the stairs, checking for her at each floor of your 18 floor building. Later you will likely find her, completely unharmed, being petted by a teenaged couple when the doors open on the fifth floor.
17. Keys – Halloween Parade, West Village, 2009
This is my own fault. There is no good reason to go to the Village Halloween Parade. Unless the theme of that year’s parade is “everyone stay home and don’t act the way you normally do at this parade.” Punishment fits the crime.
18. Voice – St. Marks Karaoke, 2011
No, I did not lose as a contestant on NBC’s The Voice. If only it were that simple. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is one hell of a drug. Let’s just leave it at that, bright eyes.
19. iPhone 4 – The backseat of a cab, January 2012
Honestly, the Taxi and Limousine commission probably has more important things to do than funnel my calls to voicemail boxes that are permanently full. Did you know that there is a New York City lost and found? Well, there is one — sort of! It’s at the Central Park Police Station. That is the designated lost property precinct for Manhattan. They don’t have my iPhone in case you’re wondering. When I replaced the lost iPhone 4 with a new iPhone 4S, I asked Siri if she could find my old one. She told me to go to hell.
20. All my lip balms, ever – Various locations, 1990-present
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Try something today. Count how many times someone brings up some sort of mental illness in normal conversation. Add that number up and tell me it doesn’t strike you as kind of weird how many normal people walk around with the belief that there is something wrong with them.
She assumed it was jewelry. Every year he gets her a charm for her gold chain or a pair of dangly earrings.
Fall if you will, but rise you must.
You may lose what would have been the joy of the experience had you not been so focused on some fabricated idea or unrealistic expectation you had of how it was going to turn out.