Thursday, March 14, 2019


            I found spring last week. No, not that spring.

            We were driving home from Traverse City when I felt something in my glove. Cookie crumb? Salt from the road? A pebble? I peeled off my glove, and while still driving carefully, shook my glove until a small object fell into my lap. Fortunately, we had stopped at a red light.

            It was a small steel spring, the kind you may find inside a retractable ball point pen. How did it get there?

            My first thought was that Kim is right, that I am from another planet. Perhaps it’s one that is working hard on robotics, and I am some sort of prototype, one that had not been programmed to dress properly or clean a shower. I decided that when I got home I would check my hand carefully to see where the spring might have worked its way loose.

            Where else could it have come from? My car was working well, and even if hadn’t, what part of a Toyota includes a retractable ball point pen spring, and how would the spring make its way into my glove? I made a mental note to ask the mechanic next time I’m in for an oil change.

            We had just been at the hospital so Kim could get some X-rays (all OK) and meet with some doctors (ditto). Perhaps it was part of a complex and expensive piece of robotic surgical equipment that I had been using to save a patient’s life while Kim was with the docs and thought I was reading.

            Or perhaps the universe was sending me a message. Sometimes, when you are feeling depressed, the universe offers up a spectacular sunrise to tell you to hang in there, that better times are ahead. Our you are looking for cool rocks on the beach and find one that’s shaped like a heart – not a real heart, but the kind you see on Valentines. The message has something to do with love, but the fact that the heart is made of stone is a bit troubling. And sometimes, puzzled about your future, you look into your bowl of alphabet soup and the letters spell out “MARRY HER.” But if the discovery inside my glove is a message from the universe, what would that message be? A retractable ball point pen spring? What? Is the universe suggesting that I get out a pen and write? That I should write with a pen and not a computer? That I walk with more spring in my step?

            Here’s another possibility. A week or so ago I mentioned to Kim that I did not have any pens on my desk, suggesting, perhaps, that they had drifted to her desk or purse. Since then she has been handing me pens. Yesterday she gave me four that she’d lifted from various doctors’ offices she had visited. I may have stuffed one in my coat pocket – the same pocket where I stuff my gloves. Not sure how the spring got out of the pen on its own, but this is better than the robotic surgical equipment explanation.

            Or maybe I just found it somewhere and put it in my pocket to put somewhere in case I ever could use a retractable ball point pen spring when in a situation that I needed to MacGyver my way out of, if I only had his brain.  Then I forgot I had it until my glove found it.

            THIS JUST IN: I found a secondretractable ball point pen spring, this one on my coat pocket. (No, it’s not the same one, found again. Both now sit in my desk drawer, side by side.) So, something is apparently leaking retractable ball point pen springs. WTF?

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