(21) Things I Lost While Drinking

Every hard drinker will tell you: you lose things when you’re drunk.   I am not normally a forgetful person, and if I’m wearing or carrying something expensive, I watch it like a hawk.  The person who leaves their cell phone on the table when they go use the restroom?  Or their Kindle on the control bar of the treadmill at the gym?  That’s not me.

Almost everything I’ve lost in recent memory–say, the last several years–I lost after I’d been drinking.  Some of these I misplaced after two or three glasses of wine and some of them I lost in blackouts.  A few were retrieved, or returned to me later.  A few were abandoned because I was unable or unwilling, for various reasons, to return to the scene of the crime.   Most were just….gone.

  • At least three different earrings, one of which was real gold.  Women who wear earrings inevitably lose them, but nothing will make it happen more often than booze.  Yeah, long hair + winter scarf + drinking = lost earring
  • A brand new pair of prescription eyeglasses.  They were dark pink wire frames in a cat-eye shape, and they were beautiful.  They were lost sometime over the course of a holiday weekend at The Kitano hotel–I think I left them in the pocket of a bathrobe, but I really couldn’t tell you.  I also lost a ring that weekend, which was found and returned by the housekeeping service (I gave them a $50 reward for that), but the glasses were never recovered.
  • Two brand new unopened tubes of Retin-A, a prescription-only skin treatment I’d just purchased from the dermatologist.  What better way to celebrate an expensive doctor’s appointment at 2 PM than a martini?  Bombay Sapphire, dirty, with olives.  I think that I left the Retin-A on the train.
  • One of my student’s midterm exams.  I only lost one exam or paper in my entire teaching career, but, yes, I did lose this one.  Left on the table (I think) at a sidewalk cafe.
  • Contact lenses.  Many, many contact lenses.  Usually at the end of the night, when I was trying to take them out of my eyeballs.  They never made it back in the case, and I’d find them on the floor or the bathroom porcelain the next morning, all sad and dried out.  Not unlike yours truly.
  • A pair of black knee-high Camper boots, lost at the Hotel Wales.  I liked that old-fashioned, stuffy hotel.  It saw a lot of action in 2010.
  • My first Kindle, lost at a bar on the Upper West Side.  I’m not sure which bar.
  • Two Fleck riding crops, each lost at a different location.  I am of the opinion that Fleck makes the best and most attractive crops in the world (but if you have another suggestion, I am willing to listen).   One of them, I sneaked into the Surgeon’s bag as a prank.  He pulled most of it out the next day, in front of his class (Oh boy, was I in trouble for that one.  I consider this crop lost-while-drunk because I hid it when I was drunk, and I never got it back).  The other riding crop was lost at a fetish party in Montclair, New Jersey.
  • Probably a dozen books or magazines.  You know that person who sits by himself at the bar and reads?  That’s me.  Oh God, did I read in bars.  Writing notes to myself in the margins.  Sometimes, the next day, I couldn’t remember what I’d read, but I know that I read it, because I saw the notes.  Off the top of my head, I left my copy of The Forger’s Spell at a bar in Boston.  I remember that one because this dumb Irish doctor kept trying to talk to me.  Hello!  If I wanted to talk, I wouldn’t be reading!
  • A switchblade.  I had to hide it because the police were going to search my bag.  Where I come from, it’s not a huge deal, but in New York I would have been arrested on the spot.  Anyway, I don’t remember what I did with it.
  • Umbrellas.  If you live in NYC and take public transit, you will lose at least one umbrella per year.  If you drink, you will lose four or five.
  • Cigarettes, before I quit smoking.  Marlboro Reds first, then Marlboro Lights. Yes, I smoked the cowboy white trash cigarette brand.  Don’t forget LIGHTERS, because I lost those, too.
  • Two debit cards, left at the bar with the check.  I got both of these back the next day.
  • A bag of treats for Parrot (Parrot RIP).  Lost between the pet store and home.  No idea.
  • The Power of Myth on DVD.   I had to replace it, and it was expensive.
  • A pink lace camisole from Express, lost on a date with Matt, this guy I used to date.  I have absolutely no idea what happened to it, because we tore the place up looking for it in the morning.  Maybe he stole it…?  Men steal clothes sometimes.
  • Money.
  • Metro cards.  Lots and lots of metro cards.
  • My dignity.

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