The irony is not lost on me as you bumble around the room in a dull witted panic; you cannot see without me, but you need to see to find me. If I could laugh, I would. Instead the beads of my chain click and jingle while you squawk at your husband and throw cushions to the side. It's not a bad place to start. More than once I've slipped down, down, down between the cracks and ended up somewhere in the darkness with the mothballs and the crumbs. Greasy fingers have reached down to grip me, then left me where I lay. My crime? Being the wrong shape.
So here we are. From here I can see the lay of the land with startling clarity... which is more than I can say for you. The husband is frowning and scratching his pallid, sagging jowls, the TV screams out some kind of 'get it while its hot offer' for something much less valuable than me. You still stop to stare, however, squinting at the moving shapes as if they hold some kind of answer.
"Maybe they're in the car?" The husband says, "you always leave them in the car." He's looking down at his feet. "Damn..."
"Mismatched shoes," he mutters, "back in a tick."
And here we are, alone again. Alone at last. A pretty pair we make, but there are some advantages to the silence. Without the pressure of well-adjusted eyes watching you, a kind of calm descends. I don't need to see you tap your pockets, because you always do. I have seen this routine from every angle; you will pat your pockets, then check your cardigan and the neck of your shirt, even though you've done it all before. Once these first steps are done, you search the Brown handbag, then the Blue. These are the main receptacles of all you own.
I'm not there, of course, but you check anyway.
Then the couch, once again; inside and under. As you lean low to check the dusty floor beneath, you there is a moment when we nearly come together again, but it passes like sand through a timer. It is only a matter of time, after all. We can't be parted for too long, you and I; we need each other. What am I without purpose but a thing?
I am not just a thing; without me the big moments of your life would be kaleidoscope smears across your mind and memories. Without me, those faces you love so dearly would be lost to the fog of time and age... without me, those who love you would barely recognize your face.
"Look darling," the husband says as he reappears, cleaning his own glasses meticulously before he tucks them in the front pocket of his clean flannel shirt, "you'll find them, but Sarah is here. Lets just go to lunch, ok?"
And we're off, down the dark, wood panelled hall, passing the whining cocker spaniel on the way. Wretched creature; by body is scarred by its foolishness. Out, out, out into the garden, bursting with pansies and lavender and wild, rambling rose bushes to a sleek car that looks like a shark.
"Everyone buckled in?" Sarah has grown; she used to be a small creature with chubby cheeks, not that I saw her then. No, I remember her as a sharp-cheeked teenager with too much kohl around her hooded eyes in the morning, and panda rings of greyish cream around them at night. She dresses to suit herself now. It's better; I agree with you, by the way, she was too pretty for all that darkness.
She drives like a maniac, however, and take corners so sharply that I shiver and almost tumble into view before we reach the bistro. At a clean, smooth table with a sweating jug of water between us all, you peer at the menu,
"Mum?" Sarah asks,
"Oh, I can't... just order me something darling, I couldn't find my glasses before we left," you drop the menu with a sigh, and don't notice her eyes as they travel up and crease,
"They're on your head, mum," she says and slides the menu back to you while you cluck and chuckle, pulling me down with a fine chunk of white hair caught under my left nose pad. Home at last.
"So they are," you say and sigh, "the garden salad, I think, and some soup." Then I am returned to the downy top of the mountain, surrounded in white fluff; how many more times will we repeat this dance?