I lost my locker key at the gym. Not for the first time, but normally retracing my steps enables me to find where it has fallen out of my pocket. I retraced. No trace.
Earlier I had been on an exercise bike. It faced a TV screen and a number of mirrors. I saw that some women were doing Pilates on mats beyond the mirror. I noticed them because the combination of a couple of protruding upper bodies and a mirror made it appear as if two of them, not especially small examples of the female type, looked as if they were struggling to get out from under treadmills and rowers. I had chuckled. To myself, obviously.
I had finished a complete lap of the gym and covered all my tracks. I asked a number of people now on equipment I had been using if they would mind me checking. All were courteous, but no key.
I contemplated asking a guy, now on the vertical bike I had used, to check again. Standing behind him and contemplating this I noticed the floor had been mopped. I went and asked the cleaners, in my best eastern-European, if they had found a key. I found myself showing them a pair of fingers clutching a small, non-existent key. I mimed absence. Weird. Anyway no. They had found no key.
The next step, as other members of my gym report, is to go to reception and get the man with the hacksaw to come. Not yet. I hadn't properly thought like a golf ball yet.
I went back and stood behind the man on the bike. Plucking up courage to ask him to search again I raised my eyes and saw the mirror. The mirror. A mirror image. Are you there yet?
Yes folks I had clearly recorded the positioning of the bike I had used from the mirror. I knew where the key was. It was on the next bike. Accepting the humiliation of the look of the guy who had already been asked to search unnecessarily and was still on the next door bike, I asked a kind-looking woman to check if the cup-holder on the front of her bike contained my key. Of course it did.
It occurs to me that I have always known that things get wrongly fixed in the eyes of witnesses for all sorts of reasons. I have found another one.