My friend Bette made it a point to tell me she’d seen Peter at the grocery store recently. She figured I must be in the store somewhere, although she didn’t see me. Bette introduced herself to him because she knew he wouldn’t remember her name. His response was quick and so typical of him. “Don’t tell ‘anyone’ I’m here. I’ll be in trouble.”
Anyone meant me, of course.
She didn’t remember what day it was, but I figured it was probably the Tuesday he snuck out without telling me he was leaving, nor where he was going. When I realized he wasn’t here and that he had probably been gone well over an hour, I went looking. By the time I got home, he was back. “Where’ve you been?” he asked, greeting me at the door as if he’d been out looking for me.
“You didn’t tell you were going out,” I said. “I’ve been looking for you.”
“I didn’t know where I was going,” he said. “I just went for a walk.”
He shook his head. “Can’t remember.…that was a long time ago.” He uses the “long time ago” line a lot in attempt to joke his way out of Trouble. His only Trouble would’ve been if he had gotten lost for real!
That evening I found a Hershey bar wrapper and deduced that he’d gone to Kroger’s.
Several days later someone else told me she’d seen Peter at Kroger’s and he seemed confused. She saw him leave and decided to call me — it was that same Tuesday. I didn’t see her voice mail until after he’d “found himself,” but it is comforting to know we have friends to help me keep track.
I am researching personal tracking devices. There are several types on the market, but he wouldn’t use any of them willingly, and I know he would find ways to “lose” them. He’s crafty that way. I wish someone would come up with a microchip like veterinarians implant in dogs. The idea would make Peter laugh…I think that will be my little secret.
Header photo: The road not taken.