Lost & Never Found Again: Gyroscope

Published on March 26th, 2010 in: Lost & Never Found Again, Toys and Collectibles |

gyroscope SMALL

When I was very young, maybe three or four years old, my Grandmother worked at a grocery store, Best Way, in the small Louisiana town where we lived; she was the butcher, actually, but that’s another story.

The Best Way always had an impressive selection of comic books, Cracked, and Mad magazines that I’d read in the break room while visiting my Mam at work, and a pretty decent selection of cheesy toys: cap guns, puffy Batman stickers, jacks, and paddleballs and whatnot, but occasionally, they’d have something special.

I remember seeing the Gyroscope in the store; I had no idea what it was, but it looked amazing in its clear cube box, mechanical and fascinating. Being the spoiled (at that point, at least) only child or grandchild in our family, my aunt, seeing the rapture this strange object held me in, bought it for me on the spot.

I loved that gyroscope. And promptly lost it. I looked for it frantically for weeks, but never saw it again.

Years later, long after I’d forgotten the Gyroscope entirely, I had a dream, one that would recur every few years since, but that I haven’t had in some time. I’m old, older than I am now, but I don’t really know how old, other than feeling that I’m probably elderly. Or maybe no longer alive.

I never see myself in the dream, but I can feel that I am not young anymore, I can feel the creaking of time on my being, but I feel very light. I’m at my Mam’s house, and it’s spring. The grass is beautiful, verdant, lush in that way that seems to only happen in Louisiana in spring. I crawl under the house, near the kitchen window.

I find a small chest that has clearly been hidden there a very, very long time. When I make my way crawling backwards back out from under the house and into the daylight, I open the chest. Inside are all the things I’ve ever lost.

The Gyroscope, still in its clear cube, is on top.
—J Howell

To read all the entries in the “Lost & Never Found Again” series, click here.

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