This despised thing.

I hate this--about myself, and about the situation I end up in over and over. But here it is again: at dinner, she sits between us, praises (and rightly so) the open fullness of my relationship with my parents, the ways we tell each other so many things, the way they let me curl up between them in bed the night I split with my then-somebody, even though I was 25, because I was still and am still their baby. She turns to him and says, "Do you tell your parents about your girlfriends?" "Well," he says, "there haven't really been girlfriends, until the current one." And I feel some little thing in my gut turn its face to the wall and breathe a sad, heavy sigh. Why should this be? How is it possible that I still haven't resolved this?

At some other moment--because people are starting to peel away and head for home, and because we're academics, and so we are analyzing and assessing everything most of the time but especially at threshold moments that lend themselves to retrospection--someone asks her what she was looking for when she came here. She turns to me and says, "Why did you come here?" I realize that there's one thing for which I'd hoped but that hasn't happened, and so I give the general answer, the one that encompasses: I came to recharge. I came to reassess some important things.

And I did. And I have.

* * *

As if dinner hadn't done enough to unsettle me, I had it dawn on me over the course of the evening that I haven't seen my Naxos eye necklace since April--since, specifically, the day my newest Superhero necklace arrived. Because I received it just before lunch, I took off the necklace I was wearing and put on the new one. I put the old necklace into the little pouch in which the new one had arrived. I now believe that, while cleaning my flat for the first of my visitors in May, I may have thrown out the envelope containing the little pouch. It seems so improbable, and yet my efforts to locate the envelope and/or the pouch have been utterly futile this evening. This loss makes me feel ill; a dear friend helped me pick out that necklace during our stay on Naxos in 1995, almost exactly thirteen years ago, and it has seen me through quite a lot in the meantime. Perhaps the worst detail of this frustratingly inane story is that I am still in possession of all manner of crap that I don't need, crap that I didn't throw out while I was cleaning the flat. And yet I suspect that the envelope and the pouch and my beloved necklace didn't survive the cleaning, simply because they didn't scream "you shouldn't throw me out unless you shred me first" the way my idiotic piles of junk mail did. Damnit!

There's nothing for this but to go to sleep, having said my prayer to Saint Anthony. But a tiny part of me can't help but wonder whether the loss of my Naxos eye--which is meant to be a good luck charm, and (even more than that) a protection from the evil eye--has somehow contributed to my loss of equilibrium in the past month. That part of me is already trying to figure out how to find a flight to Naxos and get a new pendant before heading back to the U.S.