I lost my wallet. Or it was pinched. Or it evaporated into ether. Either way, I last time I saw it was at Wal-Mart. I replayed the moment in my mind a million times the night it happened. The upstairs neighbours have been thumping around nightly, screaming, racing, a constant stream of traffic keeping us awake for a solid three weeks. I’m talking three to four hours a night of broken sleep. (Props to the new parents out there, that shit is the worst). I’m lying on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket, twisted with the agony of having lost all my identification, cash, and enough change to buy three coffees.
Another busy day at Wal-Mart, my arms are loaded with many things. I’m standing at the check out. I take one step away from the wallet, my eyes never breaking away from it as I tuck receipts into an envelope. I grab my stuff, all my bags, and bulky pillows and bedding items. I leave the store, make several more stops, not using my wallet again. I took my car into the shop, transferred all of my recently purchased theatre props into the courtesy car, and was driven by an employee to my house, where I left my purse in the car, and ran up to the house to grab my laptop. Then I went back to the theatre, dropped my large red purse, along with many other bags, and then it was a flurry of setting up; emptying bags, running around, talking to different people. I then go upstairs to my desk, tick many things off my latest to-do list, kick my feet up on the desk, and ate a granola bar. I exhale deeply and congratulate myself quietly for having such control over my life.
It was just the day before that I hit my stress peak. I had some money in the office, folded once and held together by a white paper clip. I didn’t need it, but I checked on it, and noticed it wasn’t where I thought it was. Ugh, the worst feeling, that salt and vinegar kind of tingle along your scalp line when all isn’t well in Who-ville. I went on with my day, with that fear ticking in my brain. I had so much going on, juggling too much, the last thing I needed was to lose something so important. And that fear, compounded with that awful anxiety of not knowing where something is, along with the white trash not-so-grandmother/daughter duo thumping around upstairs and robbing you of sleep, made my heart feel as thought it were being pressed into a vice. I call my friend Sheanna, and she reckons that “it’s not just the money” that’s bugging me. I’m working lots and it’s all great, there are exciting opportunities, interesting projects, I’m meeting amazing people. And these action packed-twelve hour days are great. But trying to blog after long days has not been a priority. I tried, failed, and then I just stopped, for a day…or two…or three.
And so, I found the money, and was awash with relief. I then put the money in my wallet, where surely it would safe…at least until the following day, when I let my guard down for one minute while the entire contents of my life evaporated in my purse. I combed through the day in my mind; called every place I went. My husband and I search every corner of the the house, the car, I go back to the theatre to look there. Searching in drawers and rooms that the wallet could never possibly be. My heart is pounding and I’m sick, just sick, trying to imagine where it could be. Where could I have left it? lost it? Was it stolen? When would that have happened? I think of the scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life“, when (oops, spoiler alert!) forgetful Uncle Billy goes to the bank to make a large deposit, but bumps into his nemesis, mean old Mr Potter before he makes it to the teller. He plucks a newspaper from Mr Potter’s hands, and when he hands it back, he inadvertently folds the envelope with $8000 into the paper. Because Mr Potter is a prick, he lets Uncle Billy sweat, and allows poor old George Bailey spiral into attempting suicide. There’s a moment when George and Billy have searched every place, even rooms that are never used. George snaps, grabbing Uncle Billy’s collar and just rips into him, calling his a stupid foolish old man, and then Uncle Billy cries. It’s a really sad scene, because Billy is endearing and George is hardworking. Okay, now image that scene, and now image me doing that to myself.
Where could it be? Who is my Mr Potter? I try to imagine the wallet, on someone’s nightstand, in a trash bin, dropped in a parking lot, pilfered by some unfeeling reprobate. Or did I walk away from it? That moment at Wal-Mart, thinking that I need to slow down, don’t forget that wallet, you know, cause and effect and whatnot. In trying to go back and remember, it’s all so very fuzzy. I’ve been running on this endless sleep deficit. I’m not thinking clearly, everything is a blur. Loss prevention from Wal-Mart contacted me, after I requested they look at the footage. I was well prepared to come to terms with my walking away from the wallet.
“You definitely put the wallet in your purse”, the woman tells me.
This actually makes me feel worse. At this point I have no idea where it could be. I can’t even begin to image.
“Message from the universe”, Sheanna texts me in response to the “what the fuck is happening to my life?” text I sent her. What kind of message I wonder?
Sure, I get it, I’ve lost my identification = I’ve lost myself. But this was no time for reflection, I pushed through the rest of the week, working, not blogging, and trying to chase up my missing wallet. Today, I get another text from Sheanna, asking whether I’d found my wallet, and whether I’d been blogging. No and no, would be the answer. She texted, “When you blog, your wallet will come”. And it was only then that I read what she wrote the night I lost my wallet, wide awake in the middle of the night. That by not doing the one thing that is most important to me, that I’ve lost myself, and that losing money equates powerlessness. Which I get, I was so focused on not letting anyone else down, that I stopped blogging and doing yoga. I worked through lunches and didn’t give myself a second of calm. Thinking I lost my money was a warning. Actually losing it was a punishment.
Well–may it appear, money still lovingly still tucked in the pocket, coffee change still intact. But, come what may in the form of messages from the universe. I’m sorry universe, I’m listening. Next time, maybe not such a dramatic lesson, I can’t afford the tuition.