If you were to have met my wife and myself last Thanksgiving, you would have thought that a happier couple did not exist. People say we glowed with joyous anticipation as we awaited the birth of our first child. Of course, with a due date in December, we had to skip those seasonal radio concerts, but one must learn to make sacrifices when it comes to family.

Following the birth of our daughter, we quickly made plans for the summer. We had so much catching up to do! We bought tickets for all the shows, like Ani DiFranco and Buck Cherry. At nights we would hold our little bundle of joy up to the screen. “Pick a show,” we’d tell her. “Who should Mommy and Daddy see? Should we see Electric Light Orchestra? How about Laurie Anderson or Judas Priest? That’s when she’d spit up on the screen. “Oh, Daddy’s little darling says David Lee Roth!” Yes, those were good days.

Of course, one cannot take an eight-month-old infant to concerts like Nick Lowe or Faster Pussycat. So after much deliberation, we hired a nanny.

Now, I’m a faithful husband. But when I met our new nanny, Peyton, at the train station the day she arrived from Bakersfield, I was awestruck at the beauty of her hands. More than just fingers and thumbs, they were incredible appendages of anatomical wonder. As the days turned into weeks, I couldn’t help but think about those hands and what it would be like to see her touch my tickets for Hog Molly, caress my Berlin tickets and gently tickle my Eric Clapton ticket stub from last month. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I was infatuated.

Which made that dark, dark day even more horrible than anyone could ever imagine.

My wife and I had just returned home from a ticket-buying seminar where we learned new techniques for purchasing choice seats for Neil Diamond and Journey. Imagine our surprise when we came home to an empty house! Our little girl? Gone! The nanny? Gone! As were our tickets for Eric Sardinas, The Guess Who and Brian McKnight. We were shattered.

Thankfully, we found most of the tickets, including Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Jazz Mandolin Project. She had pawned them at various establishments at the other side of town. But we never found our little girl.

And now I’m tormented by memories of those hands. Those hands that I used to spend hours thinking about have turned into the nightmares of my soul. Those hands that pawned my tickets. Those hands that pawned my Save Ferris tickets. Those hands that pawned everything I held dear, including my tickets for Sigur Ros, Sevendust and Steve Vai.

But most of all, I can’t stop thinking about those hands that hocked the cradle.