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Mitten Upset

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I’m biking back from an errand to the bank and drugstore.

It’s damp. Winter grey.

And, I’m really mad.
So very, very mad.

I lost my f*cking mittens.

The new ones.
The ones I splurged on only a month ago.

“I don’t want to buy a new pair,” I whine to myself.

Aiaiaiaiai.

I’m nearly furious.

Then, the phone rings.

It’s Najadiah, the clerk at the front of the drugstore with whom I left my number. She tells me that the mittens were found.

 

***


Even when I was biking home, getting upset about the mittens, I knew that it wasn’t really the mittens that I was upset about.

I mean, of course, I was upset about the expensive, comfortable, versatile, 100% waterproof, all-leather & insulated “Frontier Mittens.”

But what I was really upset about was the news that Sara-Jean had told me on the phone.

Cancer returned.


***

 

On my initial ride to the bank, SJ, my first mentee, asks, “Homie, you have mental space right now for some news?”

She tells me her thyroid cancer is probably back, and that they found a lump 10cm deep into her breast tissue.


***


So, it makes sense that I was distracted and misplaced my gloves.

I knew I was feeling disorganized as I spoke to her as I didn’t do the math to determine the best value of the different sized packages of Breathe Right Nasal Strips—they keep Jane from having to deal with my snoring.

I was trying to match SJ’s upbeat tone while sitting with/digesting the news she had just told me. So, without price shopping, I just put two 44-count boxes of snore-reducing aids ($19.99 for one, with the second box half price) in my basket.

I’ll never know if I was I was getting the better deal over the 30 or 72 pack.

I don’t realize in the store that I’ve left my mittens somewhere.

Maybe at the bank.


***

 

Dr. Kathryn Schultz asks, “What does it feel like when we make a mistake?”

And, she answers, “Nothing. It feels like normal.”

Why?

Because if we knew it was a mistake when we were doing it, we wouldn’t do the thing.


***


It’s only after I leave the store and unlock my bike that I realize I don’t have my mittens.

I re-lock the bike and check all the places in the store I can remember.

Then, I bike back to the bank.

The armed private security guard, whom I always greet with a hello and big smile, hasn’t seen them.

I bike back to CVS and re-lock.

The pharmacist I ask tells me, “I saw you carrying them while you were shopping.”

Shit.


***


As I bike away, I feel myself getting more and more worked up about the mittens.

Though, I know it’s not really about the mittens.

 

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