I couldn’t let it go.
I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
My obsession took control of my senses. Piles of laundry, filthy bathrooms, and a starving cat – never mind my starving family – were testament to my neurotic obsessing.
I simply HAD to call the lost and found at Victoria International Airport.
Going back a bit….
If you recall, IF you had been keeping up with my last two tales about the ‘Random Act of….Reading,’ dated August 26 and September 2, 2011, respectively, I recounted my find of a book being left like a message in a bottle by ‘Ann’ of Georgetown, ON. My then my subsequent obsessive attempt to pass on the love of a good book had me (neurotically) heading out the airport, leaving it in the washroom hoping someone travelling afar would take it, only to find it later removed by (possibly) a cleaning attendant. Which I realized, with much shame, was not a bad thing, after all.
Worrying that the book likely ended up in the garbage (I hoped the cleaning attendant at least took it home to read – that WAS the whole point of the experiment – to share a book), my imagination ran amuck, having me subsequently obsessing that the book was sitting in the lost and found department of the airport.
Unable to get it out of my mind, and with my cat nearing starvation, I had to put an end to my racing thoughts.
I called the lost and found department – at least I THOUGHT it was the lost and found.
Dialling the number and mentally readying myself to head back out there and get the book, the line connected. A voice of authority answered - “Security Office.”
What had I done?
“Um, I am looking for the lost and found department?” I was already wondering if I should have registered with Homeland Security before calling the airport.
“Yes, that is part of this office.”
I could practically hear security officers getting in their cars and tracking me down - they can trace calls, you know.
“Um, I am wondering if you have a book I lost?” Great. Now I am lying to the security department, and I KNOW they know I am lying because I am sure the phone is connected to a lie detector machine, and as we all know, I didn’t really LOSE the book….oh what have I done?
“When did you lose it?” Suspicion crept in her voice. I swear I could hear the security officers buckling up their riot gear.
“Um….sometime last week?” Great….any NORMAL person visiting the airport would know WHEN they were there, as they would have a NORMAL reason for being there, like picking up someone, or leaving to somewhere exotic. Because that is what NORMAL people actually DO at the airport. I couldn’t very well explain the REAL reason of why I was there, and why the book was ‘lost,’ now could I?
I would just look silly.
“Well, what day last week – end of August, beginning of September?” I could hear her flipping through pages of a book. Was I on a list somewhere?
Luckily for me, being the bright, quick one that I am, I was on my computer at the time, and while I rambled aimlessly about dates, I looked on my blog, noted the entry of ‘Random Act of ….Reading; The Saga Continues (September 2nd, if you have been following along!), and counted the days backwards to approximately when I was there.
“Um….around August 30th or 31st?” I say ‘um’ a lot.
“Okay,” I could hear more pages flipping, “let me see here.” I was holding my breath, waiting for security to come bursting through my front door, guns drawn, as she looked through some ‘list.’
“Ah, August 30th. What was the name of the book?” I could feel her impatience through the line. I hope she couldn’t see me flapping my arms in panic.
“’Rescue’ by Anita Shreve.”
“Okay…(flip, flip, flip)….laptop, book – oh wait…book? Harry Potter? No, that’s not it.” Harry Potter? Didn’t I just say the name of the book?
She continued. “Cell phone….sunglasses…" (pause) "Now to August 31st. Laptop - no. Wallet - no.” Yes, yes! I wanted to scream! The wallet is mine, especially if there is a million dollars in it!
But I would never do that….
She continued going through each date. The pages she flipped through was not a list of suspicious ‘persons,’ but a book of items found at the airport. She kindly went through each date, and each item found and registered. I wonder if someone would call from Cairo looking for their Starbucks card they dropped….
But no book of mine was to be found.
“Sorry, nothing here.”
“But did you check the whole week….um, from August 29th to September 2nd?” I was panicking, but elation was slowly creeping in.
“Yes, I went through the whole week. Nothing here.”
“Okay, well thank you very much for checking. I really apprec…..” And the line went dead.
So that ends that. The book did not end up in the lost and found, and I can only hope that a/ the cleaning attendant took it, read it, and has passed it on, or b/maybe the book ended up in Cairo or Dublin, or.....
My obsession has been quieted, for now. I hope the book ends up SOMEWHERE, with SOMEONE reading it and passing it on.
I hope someone emails me…..
A new obsession has been started - checking my email every five minutes.
Stay tuned….sort of.