man and hat, another iteration

again it has happened. a hat lost and then found. safe to say that the volume of these incidents has me now veering away from a sort of cutesy absent-mindedness and into a darker corridor of monkey-minded mania wherein my focus has all the still and quiet of a tropical monsoon. i briefly considered that a portion of this was influenced by my surgeries/treatments but m assures me that my faculties are at the same operating power as they were before-hand, which is of marginal comfort, depending on your vantage point.

here's how it all went down:

last saturday, w/ m in chicago and oscars approaching, i met kmac and a-dog at fox tower to see slumdog millionaire. i drove down, parked in a parking garage and at one point my hat was on the dash. i grabbed it and placed it head-ward and walked to theater. kmac/adog weren't there yet so, as we had pre-discussed, i walked up the stairs into the main concession area, and into theater 6, which was sparsely populated. an impulsive whim brought me back to the concession promenade where i was quickly separated from 5.50$ for a small popcorn. i returned to cinema and sat down, holding 2 seats for my wayward friends, and endured an assault of mind-numbing ads (sidebar: i freaking hate the fox tower, w/ their overpriced snacks, their 8.25$ matinee price and their stupid, omnipresent pre-show commercial barage). the theater began to fill so i spread my jacket across two seats, hat tucked slyly into jacket sleeve, and sat. eventually they showed but moved to the seats on the other (left) side of me. at this point i retrieved my jacket from the seats to my right and scrunched it up into one seat, allowing a vacant seat, should anyone want it.

we watched the film (sidebar: mini-review in haiku format is thusly:

a benign enough
entertainment but unde-
serving of wild praise

as the credits rose i told kmac i was running out to the restroom and would meet them in the lobby. i stood and put on my jacket and right away, no hat. gone. i figured it had fallen out the sleeve-hole and onto the floor but it was dark and there a couple hundred people still in the theater. i made a split-second decision to spare those people the sight of a hat-less shadow groping around on all fours under the seats and removed myself until the lights came up.

moments later, a frozen tableau: me, kmac, adog and theater-cleaner looking on the floor and behind seats, employing two illuminated cell-phones for extra guidance but there is no hat. We check all the places of probable hat-ness. Nothing. There is so definitively no hat as to call into question my certainty that there was hat to start with. considering that i am a man who loses pens behind his ear and can't find his wallet on his person it is becoming increasingly clear that i must have left hat on the dash. it must be in the car and i've now embarassed myself by involving friends and random theater-employee alike in my twisted imbroglio. we vacate the theater.

(sidebar on the nature of the hat: blue and green knit by my mother. hence, not just a hat that i could walk from w/ a shrug)

outside on the sidewalk we have a brief discussion on the nature of good friends and disappointing friends and then we separate. i have the sudden compelling realization that no, i indeed had my hat in that theater! i am so sure of it now, like i haven't been sure of anything and i race up the sidewalk back to the theater. i tell the ticket-taking employee w/ the walkie-talkie that i've just lost my blue and green knit hat in theater 6, which is being cleaned right now. she gets on the walkie-talkie and asks her team if anyone has turned in a black hat. i correct her and she refines the request but w/ an eyebrow that says i didn't screw this up, you did. A long silence stretches between us until the answer comes back: there is no hat here.

Later, I am unlocking the car, thinking that perhaps the hat is on the dash. but it is not. It is swallowed whole by the fox tower.

Days pass.

yesterday on my lunch break, i found myself at the central library downtown returning items. a block from the fox tower. i walked over, asked the ticket-taking employee w/ the walkie-talkie (a different one than saturday) if she could radio to her team to check lost and found. They do. But no. And then she radios to the employee in the ticket window to see if she has anything there. And the employee in the ticket window responds in the affirmative. And we are together again...


Cheryl said...

This confirms my already hardened opinion that you, my friend, are one mad hatter.

lady said...

hooray!! hat and man together again on man's head. beautiful. just beautiful.

Marge said...

Looks like I'd better knit you a few more hats to keep in reserve!

ms. yvon said...

what gets me is the lack of communication between the keepers of multiple lost & found items. grr!

not to miss the point, though: hooray!