just two days ago, i was thinking, “you know what i haven’t done in a while? write a story about some stupid and embarrassing thing i’ve done. i wonder if this is because i’m twenty-seven and no longer a bumbling idiot who can’t make it through her day without bringing shame on her family?”
haha! said the universe. this bitch really thinks!!!!!
so this morning i was riding the bus to work, because i’m a grown up, who has a job, and i must take not one but two busses to get there. and i get off the first bus feeling a lot of hope for not just the day but the whole week. last week was cloudy and overcast, but this week! this week is going to be different. it’s sunny. i’m going to be productive. i’m going to be focused. i’m going to get things done.
- spoiler: i’m going to abandon all these plans immediately.
i reach into my pocket to retrieve my wallet, which has my transit pass in it, and realize: it’s not there. it is also not in my other pocket. it is also not in my gym bag.
it is still on the bus.
- you know that feeling when you’ve lost something where like, just before you go to see if you lost it you already know that you lost it?
- it’s like how neo slows down time to dodge bullets in the matrix except instead of being that, it’s me realizing i have already done something incredibly stupid.
the problem with my wallet still being on the bus is that i myself am not still on the bus, which means that with every second, my wallet is getting farther away from me. this is distressing for many reasons but primarily i’d say that i don’t like it when my money and i are parted. i don’t have a lot of money, but what i do have i like to keep a very close eye on, because i need it to live, you see. still, there are lots of other things in that wallet that i don’t want to be parted from:
- my drivers’ license, which i don’t use to drive anymore but is a nice picture of me and is also the world’s most ANNOYING thing to replace,
- my work credit card and ID to get into the building,
- my ventra transit card,
- a wine punchcard on which i am only THREE WINES away from a $1 bottle of wine, and
- a little post-it with the combination to my gym lock, which i am too dumb to remember but which i desperately need if i ever want to retrieve my running shoes from my gym locker.
i mean … y’all know that the only thing to do is chase that bus down. i’m not gonna cross my fingers and hope my wallet makes it to the lost and found. i don’t have that kind of luck.
my outfit for today was very, “90s straight girl meets her boyfriend’s sister and IMMEDIATELY becomes a lesbian,” so i was wearing 5-inch heels that weren’t conducive to running, which means i did the only sensible thing there was to do and kicked them off so that i could chase the bus in my bareass feet down the streets of chicago.
- was this “safe”????? no.
- but was it liberating???? also no.
- did my foot my foot bleed and did it probably contract the black plague????? FOLKS IT DID!!!
anyway, there i went, sprinting down the sidewalk in my yellow floral romper and white jacket, heels in my hand, gym bag swinging behind me like a cartoonish ball & chain, and of course, because of who i am as a person, i almost immediately took a bad step.
friends, to say that i fell is to miss what happened, which is that i took an eight-foot vertical leap and did not land on my feet.
- you know those cartoons where a cat gets scared and it jumps so far into the sky it touches the moon?
- you know those videos of people with those water jetpacks where they can’t control them and they go rocketing through walls like the kool-aid man?
- you know when a basketball player does that thing where they’re gonna dunk but they just absolutely whiff and end up lying dazed on the basketball court while whole stadiums of people laugh at them?
“oh my god,” someone yelled, maybe from their car, maybe from the bus stop, maybe literally god himself.
i looked up, dazed. there was a crowd of at least five people around me, all of them helping me to my feet, gathering my things. one very kind and very brave man ran out into traffic to retrieve my travel coffee mug, which – shoutout to my hometown’s endodontics practice, spilled not one single drop.
“are you all right?” one of the good samaritans asked. “holy shit you were – you were airborne for so long.”
you know when your brain has been scrambled and you know there’s some way you need to be reacting but you can’t make your body react that way?
i was like: “i have to catch that bus.”
“there are other buses coming,” Coffee Savior said. “like – in just a couple minutes.”
“no, i need that one,” i said, for some reason not realizing that i ought to clarify that my wallet was on that bus. one of the women, very kindly and warmly, stepped in close to me and put her arm around my shoulders and said, “between us girls, your boob is out.”
i looked down. the strap of my jumpsuit had popped off my shoulder, and indeed, my boob was out. i zipped up my white (WHITE. IT WAS WHITE. WHY DID I WEAR WHITE TODAY? YOU NEVER WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY!!!) jacket to hide this problem, which feels like a problem for Later Molly to deal with.
i took my things back from them, put my heels in my hand, and inexplicably left them with a cry of, “thanks, i love you,” before sprinting off again.
- “THANKS, I LOVE YOU,” Shouts Bloodied Area Woman To Crowd Of Strangers While Running Barefoot Through Urban Center
i thought i’d become A Runner in the past few years by some weird fluky accident, but it turns out that i’d done it specifically so that i could chase this bus through not one but TWO intersections, because just as i reached it both times the light turned green. but when you’re already bleeding for a cause, giving up just feels like a waste.
- this is called the fallacy of sunk cost, and it’s a stupid things human do that we shouldn’t.
- i know this but i chased a bus for three blocks anyway and that just goes to show that the human mind is an enigma.
eventually, while turning a corner, the bus driver noticed me. he slowed down, looking perturbed by how far my fortunes had fallen since the last time we saw each other – which was less than five minutes ago – when i was, a) not bleeding, and b) not yelling at him.
he opened the door.
“i left my wallet,” i explained.
he blinked at me, but before i could get on, a man from the back row came running up to the front, holding my wallet in his hand. “you left your wallet,” he said, as if this would be news to me.
“you left your wallet?” asked the bus driver, in a tone that indicated what he meant was, why are you bleeding??????????
i took my wallet very gratefully from the other passenger.
i said, “thanks. i love you,” and the doors of the bus closed.
I have never identified with a human being more than this post right here right now.
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