This and That

Credit cards, debit cards, crinkled receipts kept in case of dissatisfaction and returns, one play slip, donor card, good brand of condom, drivers license, library card, an unflattering black and white passport photo an unhappy look, all enclosed in brown leather, complete with that distinct smell of authenticity, all under an embossed metal logo, where the real monetary value of this simple object lies.

Now I sit on my bed, the contents spread over the red covers as I scan from object to object and I wonder what the kind of person owns this. A personality, a series of snapshots, bank details, and phone numbers, bric-a-brac, all scattered on my bed. I sit there waiting for the imminent collapse of my personality, waiting for someone to break me down into pieces of plastic, Internet histories, credit card bills, the food and things I buy.

I found the wallet on the pavement; smack bang next to a large puddle with some spilt and wet chips floating in the dirty water. This was not normally the way I walk home but on a whim I decided to live the life less ordinary. Fate. That is what some people would call this. I was drawn to this wallet. This all happened for a reason. Now the wallet is dry, and the leather feels smooth and warm under my cold hands. The window blows through the curtains, knocking the wind chime hanging from the curtain rail. My one bedroom flat is cool this time of year. I find myself wondering what fine specimen of a person owns this, what pinnacle of evolution and genetics, filled this with themselves, then lost it. Did they lose themselves? Was their life forever changed? How many phone calls? Police, credit cards companies…

Their picture stares up at me and I find myself slowly imagining their lips on mine after a nigh in a fine restaurant, all paid for by one of these fine pieces of plastic. I imagine slipping the condom on, I imagine me imagining the moment of release. I imagine taking a drag on a shared cigarette between their seductive lips and mine. Find this person, I am thinking, first date in a small café I’m thinking, together forever with no wedding I am thinking. That is how I am meant to react isn’t it? You find attributes of someone attractive and your mind wanders. Thoughts snowball but sometimes mine feel like tumbleweed, and fuck me this desert is lonely.

Slowly I put everything back in the wallet, feeling a little dirty, a little strange at that timeline in my mind, formed from fragments of someone I do not really know. Someone who I feel I want to know. A set of cards, trinkets and a phone number. Maybe someone I can love. Maybe, maybe, maybe, maybe I repeat to myself until the word starts to sound strange.

A few seconds suspense before the phone begins to dial. One, two, three tones, along with the fragmented sound of my own breathing. “Hello” a gruff voice, “who’s speaking?” He sounds like a drinker, a smoker. He sounds older than I expected. But hey, a girl can dream.


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