The One That Got Away

May 10, 2010

It’s nearly the 10 year anniversary of the time I lost a loved one. There was a beautiful moment in my life that was consumed by happiness, a time that was unparalleled by wonder and joy that only one man can find in another.

But it all came crashing down in a very short time, so I tell this tale as a cautionary one.

Yes, we were close, or as close as a man can be to a 17th century ribbon slide. The crystal was cut beautifully, the memento mori motifs were still are perfect as the day they were made. It was a large piece, dating from around 1680, it had a full family history and everything was completely documented.

But once upon a time, I had to make a hasty departure overseas and didn’t take into account the pieces I had around the house. My safe was too far to get to and I needed a solution quick. So, with the arrogant ignorance that can only come with youth, I took the slide and several other pieces (without documentation) and hid them around the house, bundled in tissues and any other soft thing I could get my hand on. I wanted to trick the unwitting robber into thinking that pocket full of tissues didn’t contain a piece of jewellery at a price with which they could buy a new car.

Air conditioners were unscrewed and rings were placed inside, pockets filled, boxed moved and the entire house started to double as a safe or some sort of bizarre hidden museum.

The trip was for several weeks and was rather impromptu, but I had faith that the house would be watched and the security was rather good. There was one thing I didn’t figure on, however – my dreadful memory.

Oh, if only I could wind back time and make a catalogue of those items. But alas, I was full of bravado ‘if I can’t remember it, it’s not worth having!’ – oh, Hayden of youth, where are you when I need you?

So, upon arriving, I rediscovered all my treasures, except for that damn slide.

Swinging from shelf to shelf, leaping over chairs, discarding my stacked wardrobe’s contents after inspection, I couldn’t even find a hint of the slide. I could have sworn it was above the box in the closet. I pulled the box out (gently) and scanned the entire area. Eventually, the entire closet made its exit onto my floor and periodically, the entire contents of the house exited their lodgings and expelled themselves onto the floor and back again. Over and over for several years I kept performing this ritual until I moved out and the entire area was empty.

No, I never found the slide, it has gone back from whence it had came.

So, careful reader, don’t be the fool I was and make sure that you catalogue all your pieces and also make sure you buy a good safe! Have a few in the house and otherwise if need be, but don’t leave your precious jewellery at the mercy of a faulty memory and the ignorance of thieves.

Tonight I’ll light a candle for that slide.

One Response to “The One That Got Away”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Brilliantly told, and so very sad! I have a story like that as well, in which a collection of beautiful (and quite old) heavy silver Moroccan pieces which I could have sworn I’d hid in a hat in a closet, went missing. I performed the same fruitless ritual as you did over a year’s time, and never ever found them. Tragic.


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