I bought a new, manual lawn-mower (well, my Dad did, I don’t have a garden) that needed to be ‘put together’ for use. All of the parts were in the box, including a little spanner to tighten the bolts. My Dad and I put all of the bars together, and tightened one of the bolts with the spanner. I was kneeling on the floor, and I was doing the tightening. I put the spanner down besides my right knee, to look at another bolt. I reached for the spanner again, and it wasn’t there. I hadn’t moved. Nothing had moved. The spanner just wasn’t there. I felt beside my left knee, in case I was mistaken, and had put the spanner down on that side, and it wasn’t there either. I felt all over the carpet on both sides, and still no spanner. I moved some of the wrapping the bars had been in, in case the spanner had somehow gone under there, but no, it wasn’t there. I checked the floor all around, and it was nowhere in sight. I’d stood up, in case the spanner was on me, and it wasn’t. I felt all over the floor – you know sometimes in can be quite difficult to see things on a patterned carpet, and again it wasn’t there. Confused, I knelt back down to see if I could tighten the bolts with my hand, and couldn’t… I needed the spanner. I stood up again, to have another look, and there it was, underneath my right knee. It was definitely not there a moment earlier, because I had been brushing that very spot with my hand.
I have no idea where that spanner went to in that moment.
This little mystery also occurs on occasions, in the opposite way. You are looking for a very important document. The one you put in the drawer that time so you would know where it was when you needed it again. You go through the whole drawer, and it isn’t there. You go through the other drawers in case you’d put it in one of them, or it had fallen into one, or it had stuck to another important document that you needed to file somewhere else. You check all places you can think of, and this one document is nowhere in sight. You go back to the first drawer you checked – the one you remember putting the document in. And there it is. The first thing in the drawer. You just know that it wasn’t there a few moments ago.
I’ve got my own theory on this. Scientists and science fiction writers mention black holes all of the time, those dense areas of the universe where, they say, nothing can survive. I think there are tiny black holes around us all of the time. They’re not black, though, they’re invisible. And they move. If we happened to put something in a place where this black hole is, the object disappears. Sometimes appearing again after a few seconds, and other times not appearing until we (un)consciously tell the black hole that we would like what we are looking for. Well, this explanation satisfies me with the reason why things go ‘walkies’, just before they’re needed most. I don’t think it will satisfy those who require a more rational explanation.
Another thought has just struck me about these black holes… they must be somehow connected to us, as we never find someone else’s document, or a different tool, or whatever else wasn’t there a short while ago.
Just when I thought I’d got to the bottom of one of my mysteries, another question appears. I did say I think there will never be an answer… I’m going to try and keep some awareness about me next time this happens, just to see if I can see into one of these black holes. Well, you never know…