lost & found

I’m not going to say everything happens for a reason because some shit that happens is downright inexplicable. But I can say that life would be quite boring without the curve balls.

For weeks I’d been looking forward to this trip to visit my friend Chandler whom I hadn’t seen in months. We were going a music festival in San Diego for the weekend; I was overflowing with excitement and my suitcase was overflowing with crop tops.

The plane ride down was a breeze. I met an interesting girl in the airport and we swapped seats around with other passengers so we could sit together. We drank shitty Bloody Marys, she gave me muscle relaxers and life advice (she’s five years older than me, therefore full of wisdom), and we were landing in Los Angeles after what seemed like 15 minutes of flying.

Chandler met me at the airport and before any sentimental greetings were exchanged she got straight to the point: “I need Starbucks”. I almost bought round two of coffee but decided I was content with my current state of unnatural relaxation, then off we were to her house in West Hollywood. We decided to grab lunch at some trendy vegetarian place because what else does one do in Hollywood?

I opened my purse, slightly resenting the pile of chia seeds and quinoa I was about to drop $20 on, and to my horror discovered my wallet was not inside.

Don’t panic, I told myself calmly. I do this all the time. I misplace something, freak out for fifteen minutes contacting everyone I know to spread the chaos as far as I can, then find it in the bottom of my shoe, in my pocket or in my fridge.

I tore apart my suitcase–slowly, as the chill pills that girl had given me hadn’t yet worn off. I tossed the last crop top over my shoulder and let my hope fly away with it.

No wallet.

Then I remembered buying drinks on the plane and tucking the wallet into that stupid seat pocket with those fascinating SkyMall magazines. Woefully, I pictured the plane that was now flying to Dallas and taking my ID, debit card and weekend plans with it. The unsympathetic Lost and Found receptionist had the decency to admit “They don’t really search the planes too much, it’s more of a breeze-through.”

This was real.

Despite my teary-eyed pleas, the bank refused to break the law and issue me a new debit card without an ID, and the DMV was closed already. Not that they would have been much help either, those bastards.

Chandler had already committed to driving two other friends to San Diego. Fortunately I have a brother who lives only a 7-mile Lyft ride away, so I didn’t have to curl up in a gutter of cigarette butts and self-pity.

I guess I could dwell a bit longer on the frustrating fact that had I tried to buy Starbucks in the airport I would have realized this problem in time to resolve it, but “what if’s” are toxic–and not in the fun way–and wallets can be replaced, but time cannot.

So jump forward 12 hours and now here I am in LA, drinking coffee out of a mason jar in my brother’s music studio, waiting to drive to the Mojave Desert for a 20-hour underground zen DJ fest he’s playing in.

No money, no identity, no idea how I’m getting home.

And I couldn’t be happier.

Helen

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