I’m not talking about a suitcase lost by the airline. I’m talking about a suitcase lost right here at home.

We went to get out the suitcases this afternoon, and one is missing. Maybe two.

So I ask, how do you lose a suitcase?

A suitcase is the kind of thing you put in a closet, or under the bed, or in a storage room for when you need it. You only use it when you travel. You only get it out a few times a year.

And yet, when you go to that place in your house where you keep the suitcases — you know, that place where they always are — and for some reason the suitcase isn’t there any more.

You look all over the house. Its not a big house. There are two bedrooms, a guest room, a study, a living room, a dining room and a kitchen. That’s it. (There is a basement where nobody goes, and where you definitely do not store the suitcase because it’s moldy down there.) There is a hallway closet, a closet in the main bedroom, and a closet in the study. The suitcase is not in any of these closets.

We remember the last time we saw the suitcase. It was in August. We had gone to Ohio to visit my folks. We brought the suitcase home and left it in a corner of the dining room for a while. Then the cat peed in it. We took it out on the back deck and sopped it down with Urinoff, hosed it down and let it dry out in the sun. Once it was dry, it passed the sniff test, so we put it under the bed where the suitcases go.

Except, apparently, we didn’t put it under the bed where the suitcases go. Or, if we did, some leprechaun came in the night and stole it away. In any case, it’s nowhere to be found. Nor is it still out on the deck. I can see the deck from here, and it’s cleaned off except for the deck table and a half inch of snow.

Perhaps it’s lost in advance, sitting in an airline warehouse somewhere, maybe Houston, waiting to be reclaimed. Only we seem to have lost the claim ticket in advance, too.

How do you lose a suitcase?