For the first time since September 13, 2001–two days after New York City and I changed forever–I lost my wallet today. The circumstances of the two disappearances were so similar: The losses (or thefts, I’m not sure which) both took place on the L Train between 1st Ave and Williamsburg when I was already emotionally devastated; I even reported them at the same MTA police station. What’s weirder is I’d just replaced my wallet for the first time since I’d replaced the one lost in 2001. Not to mention that my car–which I got on September 6, 2001–has been dying this month and I’ve been gathering the resources to buy a new one.
I’m trying to sort out the significance of these events because I know there’s lemonade in this story, and I’m determined to drink it. (All insights welcome.) For one thing, I tend to view lost possessions as the equivalent of the “death” card in the tarot deck–symbols of upheaval, harbingers of life-defining shifts. So these losses feels especially meaningful, as if I’m shedding a host of identities that no longer apply. For the love of Pete, I literally lost my identity cards. All this jibes with the enormous changes I’ve been courting since my back injury impelled me to seek new levels of healing, communion, insight. Certainly it’s true that, unlike the helpless girl I was 14 years ago, today I played Damsel in Distress to no one–didn’t cry or alert loved ones until I’d cancelled cards, called the bank, gathered my composure. I even had a backup driver’s license and bank card at the ready in my home office. Also new: The cops were much, much hotter than I remembered them.