Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005 - 5:01 p.m.
The girl was upset because she had lost her crucifix. It was a small, flat gold cross that her grandmother had given her when she was a young girl. The crucifix had always rested just above her sternum, and rarely did it leave her body. The cross is symbolic of the reconciliation between man and God; the wearer wears it to be reconnected to this memory. But for the girl, the crucifix also reconnects her to other memories, all the times she rested a finger on its smoothness for strength, and for grace. Like the time she first discovered she could be hurt by a boy. Like the time she lost all her photographs. Like the time her brother died in a car accident, the numbness, the inability to perceive any reality around herself save for the axial intersection of the cross. She likes to quote this one phrase, “Beauty seen is never lost", but wonders where the cross had slipped its chain. She imagines the cross resting between the blades of grass next to the pavement outside her home, catching the descending light of the late afternoon sun, glinting back at God. At last, she places a finger on her sternum, and traces out the shape of a cross on the now empty space of her chest. She understands that the objects do not stop existing, and so she asks, where do the lost objects of the world go?
The ticket stub falls out of his wallet onto the table and the boy picks it up. He looks at it for a while, trying to recall why he watched the play. Oh yes, a year ago, with the girl; they met a few times after that but he had not seen her since. It comes back to him now, him seated next to her in the black box theater, excited at being so close to her. He deliberately brushed against her shoulders just before the play started, but in the impossible darkness that draped their bodies, he could not discern her reaction. He had never kept ticket stubs because he felt keeping memories was pointless, but decided then, to keep this one.This ticket stub represents the future, not the past he reasoned. I'll keep this, he had thought a year ago, even if I never find that future with her. He fingers the edge of the stub. And as he looks at the hard rectangular paper in his hand, he wonders what really happened - did he find the girl again or had he lost her for the second time?