Randy Mankin
Randy Mankin

I misplaced my favorite ink pen a few weeks ago and I’ve looked everywhere for it. Well, maybe not everywhere, but certainly in all the likely places.

So, now I’ve resorted to searching unlikely spots. Many of them very, very unlikely. Still, I feel compelled to look since I know the pen is here somewhere.

I suspect it’s laying in plain sight, if I would only look in the right direction...or, at the correct angle. So, I walk through the house tiptoeing to look atop the refrigerator, leaning to look behind the microwave oven and stooping to peer under the sofa. I’ve explored alongside the cushion in my recliner, going so far as to lean the chair forward to see if the pen slipped through the cracks and made it to the floor.

The pen was a gift from my friend Doug. He finally noticed that I wasn’t carrying it and asked if it was lost.

“Nope, it’s not lost,” I assured him. “I just can’t find it.”

I’ve rummaged through the pockets of every coat I own, even the ones I haven’t worn in years. I’ve moved bedroom furniture, dug around in the clothes hamper and rifled through desk drawers. And, while I did succeed in finding all sorts of things I’d forgotten, even other missing ink pens from long, long ago, so far I’ve failed to find “the pen.”

Although Kathy won’t admit it, I suspect she is secretly enjoying my dilemma. You see, it is she who normally loses things. Her keys and her glasses the usual victims. I’ve given her a lot of grief through the years about misplacing things, so I suppose I deserve any derision Kathy might direct at me, but that’s not her way.

Instead, Kathy pretends to sympathize with my plight...even helping me search. But she’s not fooling me. One evening as I puttered through the house, moving boxes looking through the potato bin, I noticed a twinkle in her eye.

If I don’t find my pen soon I will be forced to admit to Doug that it’s lost. At this point, I doubt he will be surprised. But, since it was a custom made pen that he crafted just for me, I’m going to keep looking a bit longer.

I still find myself clawing at my shirt pocket like a smoker who’s trying to kick the habit.

I’m beginning to suspect that pens aren’t the inanimate objects we’re led to believe. The little tubes grow legs when we’re not looking, I think, and scramble away to hide in places known only to ink pens, key chains and missing socks.