If I were a bracelet, where would I be?

I’m looking for a red bracelet. A beaded red cuff bracelet that in a certain light can look blood red or black or even white. My boyfriend bought it at a Mexican market for probably $3. It’s my love cuff. It’s my little-bit-rock-n-roll, little-bit-handmade, little-bit-glamorous, little-bit-dark, little-bit-light; it’s my bracelet and I wish I had two or 5 or 6 so I could wear them up my arms like armor. But I only have the one and now I can’t find it. I’ve looked in the places it should be. I’ve even looked in the places it shouldn’t. Perhaps my cat picked it up from somewhere – a blood red mouse in her eyes, a toy for the days she’s home alone and bored?

Wherever it is it’s become my obsession. Where did I last wear it? Where did I last put it? Think think think think think. There was green, there was Halloween when you decided to throw an outfit together before work on Friday and you decided on some odd strawberry from the garden. But did you wear it then? And you went out that night, but to where? And then that night you must have taken it off at some point, put it in a pocket, the coffee table, your book bag – all the places it doesn’t belong, you put it there. You should call your friend to see if you took it off the next night when you spent the night. Did you leave it on her floor? Did her children pick it up like a slow beating heart, cradle it in their hands, find it like lost treasure?

Why do we put the things we love in such careless places? I’m usually so good with my things. I preen them and keep them safe. As a little girl my preschool teacher told my mom that she’d never seen a child keep her stuffed animals so clean and well taken care of. I never dragged mine in the dirt.

Perhaps I’ve been careless lately with loved things. If it made it to theĀ LaundromatĀ I’m afraid it’s over between me and red. That’s a place things never return from. Just the other night I found a child’s pink sock mixed in with our things. What’s traded among people who never touch? And now, if I look and clean and think and think about all the places it could possibly be when is the point where I let it go? Things seem to turn up when you least expect them, not wanting to be found until they are ready. My only hope is that it’s hiding among my things already, tucked behind the dresser safe and not out in the world on someone else’s wrist.

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