Thursday, May 15, 2014
A Short Ride on the Bus to Hell
This is a short horror story with a happy ending.
The week was half over and I was in hell. Two meetings had been scheduled with my hopes of achieving more financial and scheduling freedom. The first meeting raised my hopes. But I needed ID for the second--and had found that somehow I'd lost or mislaid a black leather wallet containing my Social Security card and my birth certificate. I never take that wallet with me except when changing jobs or traveling. So I hadn't taken it out in some time. Either I'd been burgled--unlikely since nothing else had been taken--or I'd thrown it out carelessly in my house-cleaning bouts for the upcoming move.
I felt just like Jay Penny in my short novel The Vanishing Magic of Snow: piece by piece, all he owns vanishes from his apartment--while he is inside.
Luckily, I thought, I had 'only' lost one wallet and the ID could be replaced. I still had my state ID and could replace what I had lost. Also, I could attend the second meeting and find out where I stood financially, though I might have to wait two weeks to finalize the process.
The day before that meeting, I dozed off on the bus--and was awakened by a familiar sound. It might have been a water bottle that someone had stepped on. Or--oh, no. Wait. I knew that sound. I bolted upright, hand to my pocket. My aluminum accordion wallet was gone! I checked the floor--not a trace. Think twice! I'd had it with me, certainly, because I'd used the monthly bus pas. I checked all pockets once again, then my back pack--not a sign. I checked the seat, the floor--both sides this time. Passengers started to help me. I offered a juicy reward.
But, one by one, they all gave up. So did I until the calmer voice of reason urged me to look more closely where I'd only glanced before. I'd had the wallet. And it had fallen. And I was not Jay Penny--that wallet was here on the bus!
On the far right of the seat, I now spied a tiny crevice between the seat and the wall. Leaning in and over, I now saw the silver gleam.
I had what I needed for the second meeting. And as I sit, I wonder: we all spend a lot of time trying to look outside 'the box'...but could it be that sometimes we need to look within the box of our situation--but freshly and from a new angle?
As I wrap up my new novel, I'm doing more than proofing--I'm seeking out the crevices where nestled gold waits to be found.