every time i clean out my dresser i am surprised to see this. my little brown wallet. the one i scored over ten years ago at a T.J. Maxx on clearance. i liked it for the compact size and bright red lining. it was sturdy, well-made, and lasted me years. it it made of snake? or cow? or some other kind of animal? i am really not sure - the color was perfect. 

but i lost this wallet. or rather, someone stole this wallet from me. kind of both if i will be honest. i probably shouldn't have left my wallet on the beach. we should not have been drinking wine and mixed drinks on the beach (it's probably not a good idea to mix wine and mixed drinks ever. period.). i was a bit careless. i will admit. but it was a good summer. that day wasn't the only visit to the beach with these friends of mine. those visits that usually involved some wine, many hours lying in the sun, some frolicking in the waves, being a little irresponsible, and having pretty much the most fun i had been having in quite a long time. i was at the beginning of my divorce, which was ending a long and generally unhappy marriage. the past five years had been full of a whole lot of work that had exhausted me and left me feeling very old. this time spent together with these friends - just us being girls who hang out on the beach, and have a few drinks camouflaged as gatorade... it was refreshing, and freeing, it made me younger, and yeah, i lost my wallet.

they hadn't taken my cellphone (or my camera), so i was able to cancel all of my credit cards over the phone. i think i probably cried, but maybe it was just the wine. i had lost much more than a wallet in the past five years. the wallet didn't matter much. there wasn't much money in the wallet. it was more of an inconvenience than anything else. 

but i hated that i was robbed. that someone must have been watching us, waiting for all of us to leave our bags, and then took something that didn't belong to them, as if it was nothing. we were at the shore - who really needed money at the shore? i couldn't even really comfort myself by thinking "well, hopefully they needed it more than i did." they didn't need my wallet. the only thing i gained from the experience was to be more careful. i was going to be a woman "alone in the world", and i needed to be more careful.

i got over it the wallet. in fact i forgot about it completely. 

then almost four months later i find a package as i am coming home to my little apartment. i had rented a small first floor apartment in torresdale. it had been a two story row home that was converted into two apartments. it had an awkward open floor plan that required you to walk from the front door through the bedroom and into the living area next to the kitchen, which had the tiniest sink ever. it didn't even hold a dish. i have been to dentist offices that had larger sinks. i needed to do my dishes in the bathtub. it also had a kooky 1970's chandelier in the "bedroom", which hung over my bed. it looked as if it belonged in a kitchen. it was brass with avocado and royal blue glass. the whole place had wood floors, white walls, high ceilings, and a view of the terminal and an after-hours club from the back window. i loved this apartment.

i looked at the package. i hadn't bought anything on ebay. i wasn't really expecting a package. the padded envelope was hand addressed. i opened it up to find my wallet and some sand.

i opened the wallet to see everything as i had left it. i had a little system of organizing my bank and credit card, my health insurance and i.d., and my store savings cards... everything was there, other than my money. that was expectedly gone. however, unexpectedly, in the bill-fold there was a letter:

"hi leah, 

figured you'd be wanting this back! i found it under the pier, where i work, when i was getting into my car. hopefully, everything is in here, and you can rest easy knowing they aren't being used somewhere. i can't imagine what a pain in the ass losing your wallet must be! anyways, here ya go...



b.t.w. - keep the long hair... me likey... see ya."

how wonderful. how weird. very weirdly wonderful. i could remember reading somewhere that sociopaths and serial killers write in all capital letters. and why does he hang out under the pier for work? is it to bury the bodies? bury bodies and find lost belongings of people who visit the shore?

and he likey-ed my hair.... WHAT!?!?.... "LIKEY"!?!?

he had left his e-mail address... i didn't know what to do. again, so weirdly wonderful. 

i sent him an e-mail and thanked him for sending me my wallet. i wrote that i had not expected to ever see my wallet again, and that it is nice to know there are good people out there who will go through the trouble of mailing a wallet back to the owner. 

i didn't mention anything about the hair comment. i never heard back from him. 


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