As I was lingering in front of the vitrine of a shop in Cairo, a man offered me, as a gift, a carved scarab, the kind that are sold to tourists as souvenirs; presumably to entice me to make a purchase. But the blatant kindness in his expression was unusually compelling as he urged me, without words, to keep and safeguard the tiny object. Here was a genuine and spontaneous non-transactional offering, pressed into my hand with shining eyes. I accepted it gratefully and put it in my coat pocket. At the time I was wearing an interpretation of a trench coat I had bought in New York, made of a camel gabardine fabric, but cut more like a dressing gown. It was a coat I wore a lot on account of its chameleonic qualities. Lightweight, beige for rain or shine, done or undone, I wore it everywhere. And deep in my left pocket lived the scarab charm. It had remained there since the day it was given to me. Over and over I would find my hand in my pocket touching the stone surface of the scarab’s back, caressing the ridges of its shell and then flipping it in my fingers to stroke its smooth, flat underbelly. After a while I began to develop an intense awareness of myself periodically touching the scarab. Every time my hand would feel it in my pocket, which always depended on my wearing that coat, I would be surprised by its presence, even though I was counting on it. I would feel: here I am again touching the scarab in my pocket. This sensation repeated itself countless times over many years, never diminishing in intensity. In fact, the continuous repetition of the sensation added a new dimension to the experience, the awareness of a constant return to a specific state. Touching the scarab provoked an echo in my body that my mind would fasten on for as long as the contact was held. Removing my hand from my pocket, I would carry on with my day. Sometimes I would marvel at the scarab’s tenacity through all the times I balled up my coat and stuffed it in a bag, threw it on a surface, or draped it upside down over a coat stand. The more the years passed, the more its persistence amazed me. Then one day I lost my coat forever. I left it in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon – I think. I can’t remember how far I had gone before I noticed it was missing, but I was beyond going back. At the time, I carefully reconstructed in my mind the moment of leaving the hotel room. I remembered the closet where the coat had been hanging and I pictured it empty. And yet hadn’t the coat been hanging there until it was no longer with me? I could only have left it there. Still, I was never satisfied with my conclusion. I will never know. Maybe I called the hotel and they told me they had not found it. I was sad to lose the coat. I remember thinking it was funny that I lost the coat in Portland, because when I bought it in New York, they told me in the store that it was made in Portland. Nothing else I own was made in Portland. And I only went to Portland on a few occasions to visit my daughter who was studying there. The coat stayed. I like to think that someone found the coat and kept it. They would be lucky to take over such a nice coat. And even luckier to find the Egyptian scarab charm deep in the left pocket. When I remembered the scarab, I was sorry to no longer have access to it; but since I never considered it a possession, unlike the coat, I accepted that its trajectory was not mine to control. The scarab lived in the coat, so whoever found the coat would inherit the scarab. I was somehow consoled by that thought. But not long after, back in New York, I found the scarab in a box. I have no recollection of ever removing the scarab from my coat pocket, and yet it had remained in New York when I traveled to Portland. It must have known that the coat would eventually leave me, and it chose to stay.