Photo by Caroline Selfors via Unsplash

First, be sure to put all expensive electronics in one piece of carry-on luggage (by carry-on, I mean don’t have anything on the bag that identifies the airline you are using, the flight number, or your destination).

Second, make sure you are tired after an international flight, rushing through customs and discombobulated by the orders to hurry up. When you are told to put your luggage on the conveyor belt for transfer to your next flight, be certain NOT TO REMEMBER that your carry-on is supposed to be carried on and PUT IT ON THE CONVEYOR.

Third, when you reach your final destination and your carry-on luggage isn’t there, REMEMBER that it didn’t have any tags on it identifying your airline or flight, though it did have a tag with your name, address, phone number and email. As a corollary to this third step, be sure to arrive at your final destination late at night when Baggage Claim is closed and there is only one clerk at the airline counter and she is new to the job.

Fourth, spend the one-hour drive home listening to a recording of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and a periodic voice that tells you someone will be with you shortly.

Fifth, in the days that follow remind yourself that you are still a lucky person and don’t act like a big baby about this. Try to carry this attitude with you through multiple phone calls, endless musical interludes, and connections with people from all over the world who assure you that they will help you with your luggage loss. Fill out as many on-line forms as you can and don’t be upset when some of them are inexplicably rejected.

Sixth, actually locate your luggage with your phone’s “Find My” application but be unable to call the Lost and Found number at the airport because it’s closed for the weekend.

Seventh, wish you had followed the advice of the book that you read during the entire international flight, the one by Lisa Genova called Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting




About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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