Saturday, 19 April 2008

For my scarf, wherever I may find her

Grave news. I have lost my favourite scarf. I say lost. That would imply that I don't know where I left it. But I do know, most exactly. It was in Masala Zone on Marshall Street just after 2pm on Thursday. The service had been slow and we were late getting back to work, so I left in a hurry. As soon as I was a few yards down the road I felt a biting chill across my chest area – doubtless sensitive scar tissue from this calamity – and realised my mistake. But I couldn't turn back. I was late already, and no one is interested in your excuses when you're freelance scum.

I went back after work but no one could find it. Come back tomorrow lunchtime, when the same staff are working, they said. So I did. This time they disappeared to the back of the restaurant and returned with a hideous green tie-dyed number, a monstrous insult to the memory of my elegant, understated former companion. 'Is this yours?' they asked, delighted with their discovery. I had to steel myself not to shout back 'LOOK AT IT! AND LOOK AT ME! DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT IS MY FUCKING SCARF?' 

Instead I just said, 'No.' And felt my sad face become a little sadder. 

Then a strange thing happened. They said, 'What does it look like?' And I realised I couldn't exactly remember. I had always marvelled at its chameleon-like ability to look blue when worn with blue, or grey when worn with black. But were the stripes in it gold or silver? Did it have tassels? I felt like Elton John in Your Song when he's forgotten if they're green or they're blue, just because these things he does. Which doesn't rhyme in this conjugation. Still, could it be possible that I had taken our happiness for granted and never really appreciated my scarf, never taken a true, good look at it in all its splendid detail? (I can't help myself here in channelling a scene from Act 3 of Our Town, staple play of the US high school English syllabus and once performed in The Wonder Years – Kevin operated the spotlight, as I recall. I saw a production of it up West when I was a teenager with Robert Sean Leonard, who I was in love with then, and Alan Alda, who I am in love with now.)

Now, without it,  I have only  a vague impression of its beauty, its reassuring cushion around my neck, and the strangely comforting smell of all those daily layers of perfume and moisturiser, lovingly built up over our months together.

Forgive me this shallow outburst of self-indulgence. I am drunk with grief.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scarf- lovers everywhere will sympathise .There are some heartless people who will say 'It's only a scarf'. But we know better, don't we?
Who can put a price on a friend and confidante, however old and smelly? A giver of unquestioning love, a companion who thinks you are wonderful always......
Try to look on the bright side; your scarf may find a caring home and at least you are spared that agonising decision when at last you sit in the Vet's waiting room with tears in your eyes......