Lost and Found

Bouquet, Jan Brueghel the Elder
Bouquet, Jan Brueghel the Elder

I want to start July with a new notepad and a pen, with a fresh smell of coffee wafting through the air, with a curtain ironed by the sun light, with a fresh breeze playing with papers on my table, with the piercing cries of sea gulls above my house which is so close to the sky.

I am not sure how stories appear, they might be bookmarked somewhere a while ago and all we have to do it find the right page. Stories are like dream catchers. The are bright with feathers and threads and ribbons woven into them, different textures, lengths, colours. The wind is gently lulling them unwinding  the story or stripping them of feathers and ribbons leaving the story ragged missing some bits and leaving some characters in disarray.

At the door I always linger. I have been thinking of walking in for a while now but time, courage, motivation and money are the regular obstacles every person is aware of even if not all of those apply to the situation. Sometimes, even none of those but we still list them just to have reasons.

I dress up. Yes! It should be an important occasion since I have finally smoothed my  way to success. I smile and hold my head high. I even do not wobble on my heels and have a perfect air of “I know what I am doing” about me.

I come to the door and ring the bell. The smell of geraniums is strong already even if I see them high up on the balcony. I quickly go through a list of names I normally use on such occasions – Cheryl, Candice, Brielle, Jennifer, Daisy and Rose. I am rehearsing in my head how I am going to say my name, how I am going to pronounce it, whether I am going to fake an accent ( something I am not good at and it helps), how I am going to shake hands or look in a weird way at the outstretched hand as if I do not know what to do. To my disappointment no one answers. I ring again, I did not come all this way for nothing and by all this way I do not mean a couple of blocks I walked, I mean all this time it took me to get here, to collect myself, to finally be prepared. I am not even ready to be disappointed. I ring twice and then once more.

I look up at the house.  A stone balcony gives the building an air of elegance, flowers like colourful wigs of clowns are hanging from the balconies. I hear the click of the lock and then the sound of footsteps on the stairs. All right, I am not going to be surprised. I am just going to say…

– Hi, I am Brielle.

The lady looks at me through the thick glasses but does not say anything.

– I am Brielle, from the lost and found office, – ( or lost property office, if you wish. For me lost and found sounds much more positive because we find, lost properly sounds irrevocably sad).

The lady makes some room for me to enter. She looks as if I lost something, not her and I feel a bit the same. I should be more confident, there is something I have found not lost.

I look at her and at the long corridor ahead of me and how much I still have to come up with while walking through the corridor to make my story plausible. It feels as if all the objects inside the house are staring intently at me, right into my brain, into what am I going to say now and I hear myself thinking and then only thing I am thinking is ” I am thinking”. She does not indicate that I should come in.

– We did lose some things but I am not sure we need them anymore, – she finally announces.

I can see that she is not sure. If only we could get rid of what we do not need but we are too scared someone might pick it up.

– Could you please sign here that you do not need our services anymore, – I give her the list.

– Should I sign or also tick off what you should not bring if you find it.

– Please tick off as well, – I say,  -it will make our services more in line with the clients needs.

I look at the list before I give it to her. It is a regular form.

It takes her about a second to deal with the procedure. I take the form and put my signature as well.

I walk back thinking that it was almost too easy. Summer air is scented with verbena, rosemary and mint but somehow I have last days of summer camp feeling. Normally, I wait till I come home to look at the list. This time I scan through as I am too curious and  continue reading  it as I walk.  I have been working in lost and found since 1805 and still I am curious. Nothing new is being lost, however, and nothing new is being found. Why am I still curious then?!

The regular items on the  lost list are sleep, faith, hope, weight, something you never had, in poker, a friend, a dog, a job,  track of time… I turn the page over. We are lost and found after all, I look at the comments box about our service, it says, – ” I lost my way to your office once and I was wondering who can help me in that case”. I smile to myself. Valid point, who is going to shave the barber. I walk on.  I look at To find list  and the page is blank. All right, we lost a lot of things in that house maybe we will find something in the next one.


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