That Random Thing

It was early afternoon just past lunch. The restaurant was nearly empty and we got an excellent table in the shade. My friend was obviously tense and kept pulling his napkin through a hole he made by pinching together the tips of his thumb and forefinger.

"It's that random thing you always have", he explained. "There's that one thing that you always need to have with you. Sometimes it's the same thing and sometimes it changes. For instance, that book you're carrying, if you had left it behind at home, you'd be missing it right now, but, perhaps, if you had forgotten your tobacco you might not notice until later this evening. Tomorrow it'll be something else entirely, but you... you'll probably remember whatever it is.

"Me, however, I always forget that random thing. Today it was a slide for a microscope I promised Dr. Kurtz. Yesterday it was an address for my nephew. Day after day, either by my bed, at the lunch table, or maybe a park bench, that random thing I should always have gets left behind."

I saw him only three times more before I heard he had been robbed and murdered. He had wandered into a rather shady section of the city having forgotten the directions to an art exhibit. Even after his death his ghost would visit his friends (myself included) and cry quietly over the things he had forgotten on the earth.