last month i squatted for a night in a friend of a friend’s San Francisco apartment on the way to a wedding. i’d never met the apartment owners, but trusted my friend when she said the space would be great.
and it was! a clean apartment without the requisite getting-to-know-you-for-24-hours chat with an AirBnB host made a hectic weekend relaxing.
however, i forgot a few things when we trekked on. the most important of my left objects was a bkr glass water bottle. i was bummed because it cost 30 dollars and because a Julia without a water bottle is a sad thing indeed.
another frustration was how forgetfulness doesn’t align with my self-perception. i don’t lose things. i don’t forget stuff. i’m the responsible one, paraded through my mind once i realized what i’d done.
this trip was detailed, i was preoccupied, and something had to pay the price. regardless, my friend’s promise the apartment owner would mail me the bottle when she returned buoyed me.
finally, the three of us—friend, friend of friend, and i—powwowed via email and i described the items. the woman searched but couldn’t find any of them, including my beloved water bottle.
i was miffed. what the hell?
after a moment, i felt like an elementary schooler so eager to answer the teacher’s question she’s squirming in her seat, arm in the air, begging “call on me! i know!”
non-attachment. that’s what the hell.
the Case of the Missing Water Bottle is just a chance to let go, even to objects i love and use constantly and which, in my mind’s eye, i can still see inside the apartment.
plus, it shows the uselessness of hardened, “i don’t do that sort of thing” views. i didn’t think i was absent-minded, but incidentally, i forget stuff. and sometimes, i lose things. now i also get to detach from these ideas.
playing whodunit is out of the question. the only thing to know is the reality—the objects are gone and i didn’t maintain my unrealistic behaviors. how to handle that information and move on gracefully are up to me.
so last Friday i ordered a new water bottle, which entailed deliberating over the color. yes, the obsessive nature of women regarding the color of durable goods is potent and abiding.
as it turned out, i couldn’t replicate my old bottle, because the company discontinued that color. instead of despairing, i found it fitting. this one’s the post-non-attachment-realization bottle. it’s not exact, and that’s perfectly ok.
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