Thursday, April 10, 1980
I Got Lost
In the laundry soap aisle at Payless my daughter, age two, gets separated from me and my shopping cart. I hear screams: "DADDY! WHERE ARE YOU?" I rush to pick her up and hold her in my arms.
She seems baffled by what happened. We were separated for about fifteen seconds.
"You got lost," I say. "You couldn't find me."
In her face she goes from bafflement to surrounding the idea: "I got lost." She's a quick learner.
She's growing so fast. Already I sense: In a blink, she'll be a teen. Another blink, she'll be gone. I tell her so, at dinner, and she tells me she doesn't want to grow up. She wants to grow down and be a hummingbird.
After dinner I go to a nearby house and hook up a stove. Low margin for me, but I promised the landlord. Some new tenants are moving in. First thing the two men do is carry in a television and attach it to cable. While I finish the job, they sit on the bare floor, drink beer, smoke ciggies, have a farting contest, and make jeering comments about some show they're watching called That's Incredible!.
I want to scream.
For a few bucks, I've missed an evening with my daughter and spent it with a couple of louts.
I got lost. I couldn't find her.