Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Sound of Wind Chimes Striking a Dissonant Chord

It had the makings of a great farce.

Imagine, had I followed the poor advice of some people I know, and perpetrated a nighttime raid on the building across the way, I would have been surprised.

The idiot in me had it planned out....wait until a moonless night. Preferably when there was no wind. Sport dark clothing. Leave the house with a sack. Scale a fence or two. Grab the chimes, stow them, and return home with the stealth of a dorky cat. Only to find out. They are not our chimes.

Cooler heads prevailed. In broad daylight I walked over this morning and entered the building. There were two kids, a boy and a girl, about my kids' ages, hanging out in front of an apartment door. An apartment in which I believed resided the new possessor of the AWOL Honoka'a wind chimes.

They let me in when they saw me in the vestibule. I asked if they lived in the ground floor apartment. They nodded. "Is one of your parents home?" I asked.

"My grandma's right there," one said, pointing to the stairs.

A voice from above said, "Go get your mother."

One of the children vanished and a woman emerged. I began to explain my dilemma. She said, "Oh, we have chimes on our fire escape." One of the kids chimed in, "We got them upstate".

I had printouts from the blog and my camera had recorded the YouTube video. I had imagined many scenarios and wanted to be prepared.

The woman said, "Wait, I'll go get them."

My heart raced.

I hung with the kids and grandma.

She came out carrying our chimes. The problem was, they were not our chimes.

From fifty yards away, sure, they appeared identical. But the section at the top of the chimes, the half-coconut-looking piece, and the weight at the bottom of the chimes, were plastic-y and engraved. They looked like they were mass-produced and sold at Wal-Mart.

The woman said, "We go upstate a lot. We got these at Wal-Mart. Next time we go, we can pick some up for you, if you like."

We chatted a little longer. They know our landlords below us. I explained the prevailing theory that either the wind carried our chimes from us, or they were spirited away by a disgruntled neighbor. She gave me a knowing look that said, "it was probably your neighbor".

She offered again to pick us up chimes like these next time they traveled north. I thanked her and declined, saying that ours had been from Hawai'i and had sentimental value. She understood and wished me well. She was a very friendly and nice person. Her whole family was. It made me glad that I approached the situation cautiously.

And so endeth the lesson.

I had envisioned a different outcome....I had hoped to have retrieved the chimes, our chimes, and stowed them away in one of our closets. And then, next week, when Melanie and I were celebrating our thirteenth wedding anniversary, the chimes would have been unfurled. There would have been much rejoicing and merriment.

Instead, I called Melanie and told her they were not our chimes. She can't believe I went over there to try and get the chimes. She wants to move on.

I cannot.

Not yet, at least. A wound has been re-opened and I must heal.

Sure, you're all reading this and shaking your collective blogheads, pitying me and my fruitless obsession.

In the words of the late Kurt Vonnegut: And so it goes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good story.