Memories of Unmanageability
I find it entertaining to go through old photos and see shoes, dresses, shirts, purses – and realize I never saw them again after those stills.
Where do all the belongings go during a blackout? Does it even matter? I’m more curious than anything else. I’m scientifically convinced there was a black hole that would appear, and everything got sucked down in the abyss the second I started quenching my thirst. Some items I remember being excited about buying and wearing, but based on never seeing them again, I guess I didn't care that much.
Everything was replaceable.
On another hand it’s just odd and not entertaining to look at these pictures and feel a level of detachment to myself. I remember fragments of these evenings. Thinking about them now, it’s like it happened to another person. Like I am reflecting on a memory someone told me over coffee and I’m attempting to regurgitate the story to someone else with the same first-hand enthusiasm. I can see myself in the photos, see the silhouette, but there was hardly a shadow.
I remember there was a time when I would barter for things. I remember convincing myself it was "cool" and “different” to say "trade ya, you won't" – just to get a reaction. I honestly do not know what I was thinking, I just wasn't.
I looked up at my wall right now and see a Van Gogh poster in a silver metal frame hanging above my couch that I traded my cellphone for. I have now had this wall garnish for over seven years. It has held up, never broke, doesn't run out of storage space, force updates on me, or even die--thinking it through, seven years removed, it was a solid trade. Couple days post transaction, I remember wondering why I did it. I needed that phone.
I can vividly remember the impulse and rush behind the behavior. I had the biggest crush on the guy I traded with. He didn't end up hanging out as long as this print has.
I remember this other time, also involving a cell phone, a lack of care, and lots of alcohol. I lost my cell phone in a couch. In the couch. I was on the couch, almost became the couch. I was lounging too comfortably on the couch of someone who was the friend of the friend of a girl who was dating the couch’s owner. And I lost the phone. I could hear it but couldn’t reach it. Couldn’t get it out. It was gone forever.
The guy wouldn’t let me cut the bottom of the couch open to get it out. The friend of the friend dating him was embarrassed I had even asked. So I just left it in the bones of the couch, still ringing. I sat on that couch until the night was over. I didn’t get a new phone for a couple weeks. It was frustrating, but I convinced myself it was a social experiment to ease the angst. I just went with it.
Another time I left my whole purse in a bar bathroom. I am not sure how I managed this. I now know that took some seriously twisted talent. I rationalized that I’d maybe just lost a phone, especially with my history, or maybe even a wallet, maybe keys, but the whole entire purse? I am not talking clutch size accessory either, I’m talking TSA approved carry on.
Luckily the next day someone called me and left a voicemail, which I didn't check for days. I didn't really seem bothered by the absence of my belongings. Luckily again, I always walked around with my checkbook, passport, and SS card on my person. I wanted to be prepared for anything. Would my car get towed? Would I end up in the hospital? Would I want to book a trip? I provided them all channels to locate the owner.
I eventually answered because they called multiple times. The voice on the other end of the phone lectured me.
“It isn’t smart to carry all these things and then lose your purse and then not pick up the phone for six days,” he said, “You're literally asking for someone to steal your identity.”
I was hardly myself anyway.
"They can have it," I told him.
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