What literally scared the daylights out of me happened like this: I was off to the painting studio to produce another old master. I went into my study and picked up the 3 cloth bags that I keep my painting stuff in. There are little pots and tubes of paint, brushes by the dozen, rulers and odd shaped pieces of wood and metal – a true artist never knows when he may need a funny shape. The bags are heavy. I rode the elevator down to the studio level, but got off at the ground floor.
My wife was standing there waiting for someone. She said, “There are nice fresh oranges in the supermarket. Won’t you buy some?” I nodded. I went to the supermarket and bought a couple of kilos of nice fat, round oranges. I then walked down the stairs to the studio level. I most have looked a bit like a camel with 3 bags of painting goods hanging from one hand and 2 plastic bags of oranges hanging from the other. In the studio, I got myself organized. I needed a dark color for a line that I wanted to add to the painting. I had dreamed about it all night. I put my hand in the bag and to my surprise the bag wasn’t there.
I searched around me. 2 bags of oranges, 2 bags of painting stuff. One bag had disappeared. I went back up the stairs to the shop, asked the man if he had seen my bag. He laughed. In the retirement home I bet he gets “Have you seen my…?” queries all day. No bag. Back up to our apartment. No bag. Back down to the studio. No bag. This is how it happens? You lose it in one minute? All the people I know who have lost ‘it’, have done so slowly over months and even years.
Depressed, I went back to the apartment, made myself a cup of coffee and went over my movements again. Nothing, except I knew that I had left with 3 bags of painting stuff earlier. Okay, so I’m now one chocolate short in my box, I thought. I will still manage. But I kept thinking about the incident. 2 days later I bumped into one of the admin staff.
“I lost a bag…”
“With paint and stuff inside?” she finished. “It’s on the floor in my office.”
“That’s the one. Where was it?” Can you hear the relief in my voice?
“Someone found it on the stairs where you must have dropped it,” she said.
So much for my camel. He’s definitely losing his grip…