I lost a mitten this week.
It was no Hindenberg, but if feels like tragedy to me.
Between the vehicle and the door of the Bismarck YMCA, my mittens departed me, falling to the ground while I was unaware. I realized it after the workout, when we were down the road. We returned to find the crushed body of one mitten, driven over, having given up hope. The left mitten was nowhere to be found, not even downstairs in the locker room, where I went back to check just in case.
I sent a text to my friend the next morning when I woke up to snowfall after the windy night: “If my glove is out in the parking lot it’s going to be covered by snow and they’ll clean the parking lot and it’ll be gone for sure!” I made my friend go with me to the parking lot, and he once on his own, in desperate mindless search.
I would offer a reward for anyone who found the mitten. I would. I don’t know what kind of reward. What kind of reward do you hand out for your polar fleece friend who’d been with you for seven years of wintery duty? So many features, built into just one mitten now muddy. Driven over. No longer in production, not found on Ebay or Amazon, irreplaceable. The perfect fit for my freakishly small hands. Snugly warm, allowing my fingers to be agile, transforming from fingerless gloves into stealth-mode mitten, lightweight, portable. Gone forever.
“If you haven’t heard, I tragically lost one of my favorite mittens in the Y parking lot and I’m pretty sad about it. No joke. Happened last night. What am I supposed to do with the remaining mitten? They don’t tell you how to deal with these things in school,” I said to a friend in an email.
I went to the Y and dug through the large bins of lost clothing, amazed at the things people leave behind. Somewhere out there is my mitten, covered in mud, frozen. I want to organize a search party for the parking lot. “I’m desperate enough to offer a reward for the location of the missing mitten. Or for someone to sew an exact match. I’m so very desperate,” I said to my friend.
I just want to know what happened to it, where it was. Did it get thrown away? Is it lying in the street, being driven down and soon to be scooped up by street scrapers and sweepers? It makes me sick to think that my mitten is in that purgatorial realm where all the other lost gloves and socks and shoes and paired things go after a divorce.
If you want to help in my search, download a Lost Mitten poster here. Spread the word. Hang up a poster at the YMCA. Show the world that it might just be yet another mitten, but it matters to that mitten.
I appreciate your service.