Every now and then, something happens that knocks us down. We lose our place, our standing, and we are forced to re-evaluate our whole situation, and accept humility. You work harder and make sacrifices or go home. And I don’t have a home in which to return.
There have been so many things that have happened in recent memory that get me thinking, “had I’d known more, I would have done things differently.”
One week into 2022, it was already a shit year for me. From the last post you could tell I wanted to rise and shine, and venture forward with my life, but I was set back quickly.
Even the turn of the year wasn’t great. I missed my date with my close friend in Kentucky at the turn of midnight because I wanted meet a deadline with the previous post. I was turning something I’d previously written into an NYE entry against the clock; and yes, it does takes me a long time to write and rewrite; my editing often goes past midnight. With my OCD, I should have known that was going to happen.
But missing a date was nothing compared to what happened Wednesday.
I was looking to set up my printer to fill out a job application for the first time, and in decluttering— because there were still boxes on top of the printer box— I noticed the Geoffrey Beene wallet box, to discover that my wallet wasn’t on the table as it was supposed to be, nor in my pocket.
At first I thought it was in the bathroom because things in my pocket can get mangled when changing clothes, so I searched the bathroom. It seemed someone might have taken it, but… the competence isn’t particularly high with the other people here for anyone to notice anything let alone manage larceny. And I looked everywhere— every inch of my room— the hamper, the trash, even behind the toilet. I looked everywhere it would be and everywhere it wouldn’t be.
The experience was unreal. I kept putting my hand on the outside of my jeans pocket, thinking it should be in there.
The next day I reported losing my wallet to the police. And I went through the trash bins again. And I went to a nearby recycling plant, to find that they weren’t the service that does curbside pickup. So I looked for the company that actually does the pickup (and yes, I called them). And after watching their promotional video, I imagine the wallet getting smashed, extruded like sausage, and packed into a giant brick of paper waste.
Now, people keep saying everyone loses their wallet once; you just have to take the loss. But with it, I lose a part of myself. Besides the potential for identity theft in losing my ID and insurance card, I lose a symbol of my growth as a person. I didn’t have a wallet before it was gifted from my close friend well before this odd place, so I lose a bit of her too.
It was a blow. It was hard to enjoy anything for days. I was already struggling. My teeth need money to be fixed, and my shirts are gathering holes.
It doesn’t help that any time I look at a given place for it, it’s too late. It snowed again before I retraced my steps.
At this point, I think it probably went out in recycling. In retrospect, the unfolded used tissue box that was sitting in my room felt heavier in memory when I took it downstairs. But my memory fails me on where it was, exactly.
Was I distracted? Yes. When you live with someone who makes snide, belittling comments about you in the other room as if you’re in their way no matter what you do, you begin to rush just to leave. My roommate singles me out for reporting things no one would tolerate. (How many times does he need to be reminded that pissing out his window is illegal? How many times have I wiped his excrement from the bathroom walls and tub?) He pretends he’s the adult and it’s his house, when he doesn’t own it or take care of it. I went to the hospital last year over possible heart problems, but it turns out it was anxiety over his disturbing behavior. I never accused him of taking the wallet, but Wednesday night, after he was asked over phone about the wallet he went into a rage from the living room, promoting his derision of my existence from “little snitch” to “little shit!” and damaged a ceramic bowl.
At the end of the day, of course, I am responsible for my own property and well being. I chose to “tough it out,” with the lack of peace and sleep, and crap that affects my mental health. I didn’t ask to be treated like a door mat, but I am responsible for not leaving before things got worse. I am responsible for thinking I could work my way out of it, or that the petty distractions wouldn’t make me too forgetful.
I was getting ambitious about possibly taking on more than one job, and perhaps I was too arrogant for my own good. Maybe something worse would have happened if I continued the trajectory I was on.
If this whole ordeal has taught me anything it’s that the annoyances and inconveniences are nothing compared to losing your sensitive items. Having a somewhat smaller bedroom is better than losing a wallet.
Last week knocked me down a few pegs. But you know what? Sometimes humility is necessary to put things into perspective or get things moving. If it wasn’t for what happened, I wouldn’t have looked at things I haven’t touched in years. I signed in to my old Yahoo account to discover all emails would have been deleted had I not signed in before some time in February, and I don’t think I would have signed in otherwise.
My place in the world is changing. My routines and sense of where I’m coming from are in flux as this house becomes more temporary to me, and the memories of starting here become the distant past.
Nothing is forever. Even the ability to get to a shopping center in ten minutes on foot isn’t forever.
Still, if anyone finds my wallet, please return it.
It’s getting very cold now. Into the possible negative Fahrenheit. And the little cash on hand I have doesn’t go far in groceries on foot.
We know we should always prepare for the weather. But we don’t get forecasts about losing things before we regret it.