The World is a Strange and Inexplicable Place

Missing perfume on right; another solid perfume on the left shown with lid.

This is a long post, but please stay with me; it is an interesting story…

About a year ago—I think it was last June—I was driving along Route One in Southern Delaware, rushing to work. I’m a night owl so I am always a little late getting up. I multitask to save time and either drive and eat breakfast or put on my perfume. This particular morning I was applying my perfume (I use solid perfume because the scent lasts longer).

I set the perfume down and just as I did the guy in the car in front of me slammed on his brakes. Being the local I am, I cursed the out-of-state driver and continued on my way to work. I noticed, though, that my favorite solid perfume I had applied had fallen off the console. The lid fell straight to the floor but I couldn’t see where the part with the actual perfume went.

When I got to work someone was already waiting in the drive. I dragged my things from the car and headed inside, still thinking about my missing perfume. When I got home I searched the car floor and in the door cubbies. I used a flashlight and searched between and under the seats; moved the chains, the jumper cables. I reached around under the front seats until I broke a nail and scratched my hand.

I tore my car apart.

It wasn’t expensive perfume. It didn’t come from some exotic place. But I loved it. It was in a pretty little stone container with a carved top.

Now I don’t believe that things can just vanish without a trace. It’s impossible. But I know I searched my car. Front to back, top to bottom. I. Could. Not. Find. It.

Since that day I’ve had at least 10 different people drive with me. No one has seen it or found it. Nothing slid from under the seats when I’ve had to slam on the brakes over the last 14 months (which in the summer time in our neck of the country is quite often—seems the salt air makes people a little dumb). I eventually threw out the intricate carved lid because I was convinced I would never see that perfume again. I even went into the same store where I bought it. And like some ridiculous kind of tribute to the “one that got away,” I refused to buy a new one. I don’t know why, but I knew I didn’t want to have a new one around.

Fast forward to today.

I’ve been sick the last two days. I slept well through the night and woke feeling better but sounding worse. As I was going through my emails I received one from a friend I haven’t spoken too in a while. It was a little lift-me-up from the way I’ve been feeling lately, even though it was one of those long chain letters with the usual “forward to people if you want this to work” kind of ending. It was about people stopping their cars because they’ve heard trumpets and Jesus descends from the sky all that. It promised that something good would happen to me today if I did forward. What could it hurt? I thought. Then again I’m not a very religious person or superstitious. I’m more spiritual. I practice Buddhism and meditate. But this story seemed beautiful so I passed it on to a few friends I knew were religious and might enjoy it, and to the person who sent it to me. Didn’t think about it the rest of the day.

I left work and stopped to drop off the recycling. After emptying my car of the bags of plastic and paper and cardboard, I got back behind the wheel. Something caught my eye.

In the middle of the passenger floor of the car, closer to the door, was the missing perfume that had disappeared last summer. It was not there when I got in my car to leave work.

“Are you kidding me?” I shouted. I was completely stumped. Picked it up and examined it, muttering, “This is… impossible. How could this… It’s just that… I searched this car and—”

I posted an abbreviated version of this on facebook and then put the cream perfume in my drink holder. As I was driving home, I kept looking at it, just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, almost as if I expected to look down and not see it. I didn’t want to think that I was crazy and so I kept wondering how this could be. I know I spent over an hour searching my car last year when it first went missing.

So where did it come from? Where has it been? Did that email chain letter I actually spent time forwarding have anything to do with “finding” it in the middle of my passenger floor? I highly doubt it, but it is a strange coincidence.

I think this will be one mystery I will never figure out. I just had to share this strange story.

Have any of you had a similar strange or inexplicable thing happen to you?


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