The day began badly, at 10pm last night. I reached into my bedside drawer to grab my mouthguard, and realized it wasn’t there. I’d taken it to the dentist to be checked, I recalled throwing it into the car after the appointment, but clearly it hadn’t made it home.
I trudged outside to search the car and it wasn’t there. Remember that. It will be important later. It. Was. Not. There. If it was there, I would have seen it, because it lives in a sizeable fluorescent orange container. It’s pretty easy to spot.
I began looking around the car in the dark, but then I remembered that a killer is on the loose in my area, so I decided it wasn’t a great idea to be hanging around outside at night wearing nothing but a long t-shirt and bedsocks.
I slept fitfully. (Actually, I slept fine, but it sounds better to say ‘fitfully’, and besides, it helps to justify the exorbitant cost of the mouthguard.)
This morning I awoke, thinking of my mouthguard. (Actually, I was thinking of my coffee and toast, but that doesn’t progress the story as well.)
I hustled the kids out to the car to go to school, and when I opened the car door, my mouthguard was there. Did you read that? It. Was. There. I was elated and disturbed at the same time, because, though I was thrilled to have my mouthguard back, I knew that something very strange had occured.
When we arrived home from school I put the mouthguard in my pocket. Remember that. It will be important later. In. My. Pocket. I picked up toddler and my bags and went into the house.
About ten minutes later I realised I couldn't remember where I'd put the mouthguard, and it was no longer in my pocket. I was not pleased. I searched the house. I examined every corner and the mouthguard wasn’t there. I even enlisted the Toddler in my hunt.
“Find my mouthguard!” I told her. “It’s orange!”
“Mama loss a moufgud?” she asked. “Oh no!” She helpfully presented me with an orange plate, an orange bowl, an orange crayon, and even an orange. When I explained gently that these items were, in fact, orange, but not a mouthguard, she seemed bewildered, and a little hurt.
In the end we gave up, and went out to the shops. When we got in the car, the mouthguard was there.
My head started to spin. I looked around for cameras, a ghost, a dentist... anything to explain the unexplainable.
But there was no making sense of it. I rubbed my temples, put the mouthguard into my handbag, did my shopping, came home, and put the toddler to bed.
And now I sit here, handbag is at my feet, terrified to open it.
Will the mouthguard be there, in its fluorescent orange case? Or will it have shifted again, through time and space, to the bedroom, my pocket, my car?
I don't know, but for now I'm going to have a little lie down. This day has done my head in.
And besides, my jaw is aching.