18 Feb

129805140_iS_lost_xlargeIt had vanished. I had searched every crevice of my Jetta, Dad’s Escape and Mom’s Sonata. I’d evem interrogated their resident crumbs and coins. “Where was it?” I begged of them. They donated neither clue nor alibi.

The bag itself was nothing special: Just a reformed plastic package that held the essentials of vendor life. But every screw, nut, bolt or stake that mattered was zipped inside.

Meanwhile, the world beyond was completely oblivious to my state of emergency. Families skipped through the lot as air roasted with the promise of turkey legs and cooing voices of practicing chorus drew them near. As the time ticked down to the festival’s start, even my parents seemed to not understand the significance of the missing bag. They sank into the lawn chairs and tossed a series of “It will turn up’s” and “Don’t worry’s my way. But a glance left and right at my neighboring vendors, with their tents billowing softly in the wind and wares on display besides my tent, laid down next to yet boxed artwork, sent me into another frenzy.

I turned a suspicious eye towards my other volunteers. A father-son duo lent a hand at our last location. Perhaps they had somehow misplaced or kept the bag. I couldn’t figure out a kind way of asking the good Samaritans if they had unwittingly sabotaged my operation. So I went to Option C: maybe the bag was accidently thrown way.

As I summoned the courage to go dumpster-digging, a shaded area beneath a tree towering over our half-opened tent and boxed belongings caught my eye. I slowly walked over, absolutely unwilling to hope, not daring to dream that my bag, the one I had nearly put an Amber Alert on, was sitting under a tree, simply waiting to be unzipped and used.

Relief washed over me. Embarrassment followed. It was I who had placed the bag at the tree’s base for safekeeping. As we unloaded the rest of the cargo, the little tyrant in me had forgotten all about it.


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