Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Black olives ...

Yesterday I received a check for $147.90, which in these dark times is a pretty significant amount of dinero. I'm in the habit of a bit of one-for-you, two-for-me holiday shopping which has me tapped to the point of eating pitted black olives from the can, with a fork, for dinner.

I took the check, folded it three times, and stuffed it into the back pocket of my jeans. I think. Truth is, when I tried to recall the events that began with receiving the check, and beginning my walk to the bank, I went blank. It was like my brain had been wrapped in gauze and in dipped in rubber cement. This is not unusual. I frequently find myself somewhere and wonder how I got there, why I'm there, and when did I get a glockenspiel. Sometimes I get my mail forwarded to blah-blah-blahler land. And I've always said that I drive like I'm a passenger in my own car.

I got to the bank and the check wasn't in my back pocket. It wasn't in my jacket pocket or other jacket pocket. It probably wasn't in my purse, but who can tell in that waste land of Animal Cracker wrappers. I maintained my game face, but freaked the fuck out.

Back to my point of origin. Pockets, purse, counter top surfaces, pockets, purse. Retraced my route. Nada. I began the arduous task of having the check canceled and re-issued, which was going to take a decent chunk of time. Enough time that my mom would probably be the victim of gum and Windex for Christmas.

I'm exaggerating here a bit. I really didn't panic-panic. I was peeved at the inconvenience, but suspected the check would be found by a stranger, and returned to the address listed by one of those "It's a Wonderful Life" sentimentalists who think December is a good time to do good things. (If it was January ... I'd be fucked).

Sure enough: A few minutes later I got a phone call. "Do you want your check?" a kindly woman asked me. Someone had found it somewhere and returned it. Intact and anonymously. It was a Christmas miracle that played out exactly as I'd imagined.

"It's because you think you're lucky," Chuck said, adding that he was uncomfortable for the entire story until he knew the check was in my pocket.
This is true. I do think I'm lucky. I'm exactly the kind of person who assumes that if I lose $147.90, that someone will return it to me. Unfortunately, I'm also the kind of person who loses $147.90, so maybe "lucky" isn't the right word. 

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