Wednesday, November 22, 2006

One Glove

Every time I see a single glove lying by the side of the road, I think, “That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen,” but of course it isn’t. (That designation is held by the inability of the most powerful nation on earth to successfully educate all its children and to set foreign policy goals that secure peace and prosperity around the globe.)

Still, I find something terribly poignant about a pair-less hand warmer misplaced or forsaken by its owner. It speaks to me of broken relationships and failed connections, of links lost and opportunities overlooked. I can’t help imagining the disappointed glove owner and even more, the glove’s partner itself.

I wonder if the left misses the right and vice-versa. Does the glove that stays in the bike bag or glove box pine for the one left behind?

Today, on my commute, I saw three solos—one by the side of the road, two near the trail. The first was a ski glove, the second, a model meant for driving, and the third, the kind sold at bike shops.

Oddly, the second, I believe, was the partner of a lost glove I saw the other day. I wondered if the owner just tossed in, thinking it might find its pair. Or perhaps the glove itself set out on a journey to reunite with its other half.

Now there’s an idea for a Pixar feature film—or maybe just a short.

It’s not uncommon to see a single shoe by the wayside, either, but for some reason, that doesn’t evoke in me the same feelings of longing. Perhaps it’s because a lost shoe would typically be discovered right away; a glove might go missing and not be noticed by its owner for some time—long enough for it to be long lost indeed.

As I re-read this piece, it strikes me as the literary equivalent of the lost glove—something is certainly missing.

And that’s sort of sad.


Blogger Andrew Davidson said...

Looks like some other folks have made similar observations:

9:47 AM  
Anonymous LM said...

there is something inherently thought provoking about abandoned apparel.they're ominous presence has a melancholy appeal.

the other day i spotted a lone shoe settled near the left shoulder of the road. just as i pondered the whereabouts of it's partner, i located the other half a few meters away on the opposite side of the street.

i found the situation to be quite curious and i spend the better part of my commute home dwelling on their mysterious back story. many of the questions you asked i too mulled over in my mind.

how is it that seemingly minute details can monopolize my imagination to the extent they do? perhaps i'm simply easily entertained.

7:21 PM  

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