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They Might Be Thieves

January 5, 2023

I don’t know what it’s like to have dementia, thank goodness, but I imagine it to feel similar to how I felt between 5:15pm and 7:15pm today.

4:15pm: I open an envelope from my wife’s dear old college roommate, revealing an eight-page letter hand-written over a period of several weeks. Not having the time to read the letter right then, I set it on the kitchen counter next to the envelope, some other mail, and my laptop.

5:15pm: My wife arrives home and sees the envelope. “Where’s the letter?” she asks. I have no idea. “IT WAS RIGHT THERE!” is all I can say. The remaining mail, recycling bin, garbage can, etc. are all searched and re-searched to no avail.

6:15pm: After dinner, when I get my laptop off the kitchen counter, I discover that my mouse is missing too. Is this a clue? Or is it just the universe mocking me?

7:15pm: The mouse is discovered inside one of the 4-year-old’s toy recycling trucks. The remaining recycling trucks are searched for the letter without success, but the letter is then discovered beneath a pile of the kids’ books in the living room.

In honor of the eventual resolution of this mystery, here’s one of my favorite They Might Be Giants songs — a fierce, defiant ode to maintaining one’s grip on reality.

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