I hear dead people. I heard them call my name when no one was there. Then I stopped drinking. The dead don’t talk so much these days. Score one for auditory alcoholic hallucinations.
But I can look in a baby’s eyes and know if this is his/her first time around or s/he’s been here before. Score one for “something out there that’s bigger than me.”
They say there are no coincidences, it’s just God’s way of staying anonymous. Believing in signs is just silly if you don’t believe in a God that has a specific detailed plan for your life. I know what God wants for me – Joy. I get that. But I don’t think s/he has a specific detailed plan. I’m cynical, a by-product of growing up with Fred. Oddly, I’m also superstitious. I believe in signs.
This morning I forgot my travel mug, so I stopped in Dunkin Donuts – the one near work where the snotty girl has to be told what I want a dozen times, especially if it’s complicated, like a bagel and a coffee, because she “can’t remember everything.” The one where every couple of weeks I take the manager’s name and ruminate about calling and telling her what shitty employees she has. That Dunkin Donuts.
There’s a new girl was behind the counter who doesn’t need things repeated. I buy a travel mug, bagel & a tea. Sadly, the new travel mug was not designed to travel, at least not in the cup holder of my car. Luckily, new girl gave me a receipt (my first, despite the sign that says “If you don’t receive a receipt, please let the manager know”, adding fuel to my ruminating fire) so I can march in there all huffy and indignant on the way home and exchange it.
I pull into the parking lot after work and start rooting around for my wallet where I’d stashed the receipt. No wallet.
I empty my bag. Big bag. Lots o’stuff. No wallet. I put everything back in the bag, take it out again & still, no wallet. I remember putting it down this morning to add Splenda to my tea. I remember thinking don’t forget to take your wallet. Apparently, even I don’t pay attention to myself.
The Snotty Girl I dream about reporting was behind the counter, always stuck on the late afternoon shift. She’s the reason I stopped my evening donut-to-drive-home routine. Thank you, Snotty Girl in Dunkin Donuts. Thank you for saving me from myself.
She has my wallet. 8 hours after I left it on someone else’s shift, intact. I dwell in irate for a second that no one had gone through it and tried to call me, then I realized, no one had gone through my wallet. My cash was there, my credit cards and the receipt.
I exchange the mug, leave a $3 tip for a $1 donut and think, phew, I skated on that. Thanks again, Snotty Girl. Or maybe thanks Morning Counter Girl. Maybe just Thanks.
Half a block from my house I start rooting around for my house keys and the remote for the garage. No keys. I empty my bag. Still a big bag. Still lots o’stuff. No keys. I put everything back in the bag, take it out again & still no keys. (Why do I do that? Do I think they will manifest if I take things out in the right order? Maybe. Yes. Maybe that’s exactly what I think…).
How can I misplace two essential things in one day? I pull over, clear out the front seat, throw everything, one by one into the back. Down vest, sweater, sweatshirt (It was almost 90 today, but I like to be prepared), scarf. Nothing. I check the floor boards, under the layer of Trident Bubblegum wrappers. No keys. For no good reason I open the back door. My house keys are laying on the floor of the back seat. I have no idea. I don’t care. Maybe the dead people who don’t talk to me since I stopped drinking put them there. I don’t care.
Something is telling me something. I don’t know what. It’s like a message in a fortune cookie but it’s in Chinese. I know the message is for me, but I have no idea what it is…
I misplaced two things today. Then, like that, they were returned. No damage done. Maybe I need to pay more attention, stay more present, be aware where my feet are. Maybe I need to remember to look past the snottiness of strangers.