I was waiting at the Dominion Theatre, under the giant gold statue for the We Will Rock You musical by Queen. I reached into my bag for my pink glasses case. Surrounded by the Friday night crowds, I needed my glasses so I could look out for my dinner mate when he arrived.
I opened the glasses case and they were empty.
It took me half a minute to realise that this was bad news. I couldn’t remember when I had last worn my glasses.
As I stood there in the crowd, in the rain, I catalogued the possibilities. Work. But I had just tidied my desk today. Home. I would have to tidy that tonight. Shops. Surely I wouldn’t have put my glasses down while shopping.
After dinner, I went home, took down my laundry and folded it away, emptied my bags, and sorted my mail. No glasses.
When was the last time I wore them?
It turns out I have proof.
After the madness of the museum, Rebecca, Ian and I had tea at St Pancras station. So maybe, maybe, I had left my glasses at the wine bar.
This morning, I called the bar.
‘Hello. I may have left a pair of red glasses when I visited on Saturday night last week.’
‘…Yes, there are a pair of red glasses.’
‘Are they made of metal?’
‘It’s hard to say. They look a bit like plastic.’
‘I’ll come by to see if they’re mine, then.’
I had breakfast, got into street clothes, and went out with a giant umbrella. As I walked, I tried to avoid stepping on the dozens of worms on the pavement. The worms had been flushed out by the rain. Some lay stretched, curled, some where long, some were squat, some were round, and some had already been flattened.
I crossed my fingers. I often cross my fingers when I’m hoping. This time I crossed two sets of two fingers on my left hand and folded them over my thumb.
At the bar, the person in front of me ordered a large cappuccino and a banana. The bar had been open for breakfast since 7:30am.
When it was my turn, I said again, ‘I may have left a pair of red glasses when I visited on Saturday night last week.’
The manager heard my voice and came over. She had a pair of glasses in her hand. They were my red glasses.
‘They are metal,’ she greeted me, ‘But quite soft metal.’
‘With plastic arms for the over-ear bit,’ I said happily.
‘You’re a lucky person to get them back,’ said the other bar staffer.
‘Lucky, yes, and very forgetful. Thank you so much!’
As I walked back home in the drizzle, I could see the world and those worms more clearly then before.