Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Lost and Found(?)

I reached into my pants’ pocket. It wasn’t there. I tried the other. Nope. Huh. Okay, where else could it be? Though I didn’t know where my wallet was, I was confident that I’d find it.

            I moved to my new home a few months ago and am still in the process of unpacking. Not yet in the habit of placing items in appointed places I often forget where I put them. I’ve lost my glasses several times and occasionally my phone has shown up in odd locations, as has my wallet. Finding my phone hasn’t been a problem—I just asked my partner, Cindy, to call it, so I could find it by sound (unless it wasn’t on vibrate). But when it came to my glasses or wallet, I had to do it the old-fashioned way.

            There were several spots where I could have left my wallet. I checked my coat pockets. Nope. What about on the dresser? Or the bookshelf by the dresser? Uh uh. The dining room table? No. Maybe upstairs, in the bedroom? Under the bed? In the living room. No, no, and no. I repeated my search. Nothing.

I thought back to the previous day. Where had I used it last? I’d certainly used it yesterday at the Stanley Marketplace in Denver. Or was that the day before? Cindy and I had gone to the Stanley Marketplace the previous evening. Though with my brain injury related poor sense of time, I couldn’t be sure. I asked Cindy. Yes, it was yesterday. She helped me retrace our steps.

I remembered paying for food at the Mondo Market. It was so good. We should go there again— Stop it! Focus! I phoned them. No, they hadn’t seen a lonely brown wallet. Where else could it be? I repeated the search once more, this time looking under blankets and books, and on surfaces that it may have fallen onto. But to no avail.

Cindy called out, “The Tattered Cover!”

Oh yes, our last stop at the Marketplace had been at the bookstore where I’d bought my granddaughter a book, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen. Such a great book. my kids loved it. Or maybe I was the one who loved it and assumed they did too. Enough! Get back on Track!

I phoned the Tattered Cover at the Stanley Marketplace.

He sounded like a bored twelve-year-old. “No, I can’t see a wallet anywhere. I can ask my supervisor and let you know tomorrow.”

Tomorrow?! “Everything is in it! My credit cards, my ID, everything! I can’t wait until tomorrow! I need it ASAP!”

“I don’t know what to say…”

I suggested that the lady who’d served me last night might know. “Could you please ask her?”

“She just left. She’ll be back tomorrow.” He wasn’t any help. “I don’t have her number.”

Perhaps security would know. They didn’t answer. Cindy offered to drive me to Denver, forty-five minutes away, to search in person. On the way there, I tried to distract myself from my anxiety. “What’s that building over there?” and “Those clouds are amazing.”

Cindy dropped me off at the entrance to the Marketplace. “I’ll look in the parking lot. Perhaps you dropped it there.”

My first stop was the bookstore. Perhaps if salesboy saw me in person, he would be more helpful. He wasn’t. “I haven’t heard back yet.” Did he even ask?

I sighed. Security next. But where the hell was it? I asked three vendors. The first, a restaurant host, went to ask his boss and came back with directions. But though I nodded my head at him, his words sounded like gobbledygook—I don’t do well with multistep instructions—the bloody brain shuts down. The next vendor, another twelve-year-old, though willing to admit to her ignorance, waved to my right somewhere. “There’s a directory over there.”

I’d already pored over the directory but found the information too overwhelming. The third vendor, about to close her store, was extremely helpful. Not only did she emerge from the store to point out the security booth, a few shops down, but she also suggested that I phone them. “It looks like there’s no one there. They respond well to calls and even better to texts. I’ll give you the number.”

She jotted down the number and set me on my path. Triumphant, I headed over to the security desk. On the counter was the same number I had in hand. I placed the call. A cheerful eighteen or so-year-old answered. “I think we do have a wallet in the lost and found. But I think it has been there a couple of days. I’ll be right there.”

He showed up less than a minute later—perhaps not as young as eighteen. Maybe twenty. He reached under the counter and drew out a brown wallet.

“That’s it! That’s my wallet!” S

Smiling he handed it over. “Make sure everything is in there.”

It had everything in there, credit cards, my driver’s license, health insurance card—everything. Except for the cash. I didn’t care. The important things were there.  I collapsed onto the counter. “Thank you. Thank you.”

I picked my head up. “I love you.”

He grinned. “I love you too.”

As we started walking away, I turned to Cindy. “I need ice cream!”

We went to Sweet Cow, just around the corner and a few shops down. Cindy got coffee flavored ice cream. I went for a scoop of vanilla and another of butter pecan.

On the way out of the Marketplace, I started laughing out loud. “I need ice cream?!” I’m an ice cream addict! “I guess it’s better than needing a drink…”