Lost and Never Found

Palma de Mallorca, circa 1960s

Coca Cola splashed on the rocks of ice and slid onto a sliver of lemon. She watched, bleary eyed.  Her first international travel across the Atlantic and her first lemoned Coke.  The twelve seater prop jet delivering them to the small island in the Medittaranian smelled like moth balls.  She had wished the window could open to relieve her nostrils but all she could do was schmear her forehead against the glass.  The orange ribbon candy texture of the earth below was mesmerizing.  Not until the plane decended did she realized what she had been looking at were terracotta roofed houses.  Now, sitting outside on a cafe chair sipping lemoned Coke under a bright sun with her mother and younger sister, she absorbed the newness of every second, rhrythmic honks from small cars and zippy Vespas.  She was ten years old.  

I can’t remember now if my mother gave me the gold ruby ring because I fell in love with it at the market or because I had come of age that summer.  Either story could be true.  And now, as I take my morning walk on the beach, occasionally looking into piles of seaweed entwined with what the sea brought in that morning or what dizzied walkers left behind the night before, I wonder. Might I ever find a treasure lost from another—a ring, a bracelet or a muchly needed watch with numbers I can see even with my glasses on?  Would another ever find the metal treasures of mine I’ve dropped, misplaced or accidentally discarded forever absorbed into sandy earth?

With brown paper bags in hand, sardines packed tightly inside freshly baked, crusty rolls made by Maria, the summer cook, the two girls stood on the corner waiting for the public bus.  The ceramic tiles mounted on the whitewashed stone wall identified the elegant home as the Italian Consulate.  The girls and their mother lived on the top floor of the Consulate for the summer.  Maria came with the house.  The bus snorted, turned the corner and came to a holt.  In they went, took the first open seats and were on their way to a small, American school where they were to study Spanish with a mother and daughter teacher team.  This day, the oldest was particularly introspective.  The evening before she ran down the long clay tiled floor from the bathroom to her mother’s bedroom.  


 MELINDA SALAZAR, Ph. D.   ~    MESALA9@GMAIL.COM    ~    603.682.4525