The other day I walked out of my bank muttering and shaking my head in disgust. I’d just been told that my social security card and bank statement weren’t enough identification to get a new debit card.
“I’m sorry, sir. I can’t issue you a new bank card without photo identification,” the bank employee told me.
“So, I can’t cash a check either?”
“No sir. I’m sorry.”
“Is a free pen out of the question or does that require national security clearance?” No, I didn’t ask her that. But I was thinking it.
I took a deep breath as soon as I got outside. I would have done so inside, but I was afraid they’d charge me. Plus interest. By the time I exhaled, it occurred to me that I was the one who lost my driver’s license. This was my fault. The polite, pleasant bank employee was doing her job.
“Now the thing that I call livin’ is just bein’ satisfied with knowin’ I got no one left to blame,” Gordon Lightfoot warbled long ago in the great tune, Carefree Highway.
Spot on, dude.
A few days earlier I’d gone for a swim, forgetting that my wallet was in my back pocket. Poseidon giveth and Poseidon taketh away. My wallet, as far as I know, is still awash in the eternal rinse cycle. Normally, I don’t take it with me when going to the big pond. I know myself too well. But that day I’d been visiting a friend and I thought it would be prudent to have identification on me in the event that a wind-blown beach umbrella tumbled my way again (see Bum nearly skewered on beach, High Tide Humor category). The Grim Reaper doesn’t hang out long enough to tell the coroner who the dead guy is sprawled out on the beach.
My mother’s always thinking about me and she often asks, “Rob, how will anyone know who you are if something happens to you when you’re down on the beach?”
“I don’t know, mom, but there will be a long list of suspects if my death is ruled a homicide.”
That’s me. Always saying the most inappropriate things. My poor mother. Imagine having a walking, talking train wreck for a son. I know what she’s thinking when we’re on the phone. “I wish we had said ‘yes’ when that doctor suggested a frontal lobotomy for him.”
Some of you surely have surmised by now that it was irresponsible of me to dive into the ocean without taking my wallet out of my pocket. You don’t know the half of it. Yet.
I lost my cell phone a few days before losing my wallet. I was out socializing that day, too. There were adult beverages involved, but I have no idea how the phone ended up down the street. My best guess? I threw it there when I called the bank and was told via recording, “Press one for English or two for Spanish.” Nothing personal, mi dulce amigos. I’m a writer by trade and I think everyone in our country should know English. It’s one of the bonds that holds the United States together. Except during that little Civil War thingy. Wait a minute. Did I just say everyone in our country should know English? I’m not sure that I do.
I’d lose my rucksack if it weren’t strapped to my back.
Sometimes I think age is catching up with me. Lately, I’ve found myself standing in one of three rooms in my apartment wondering what it was that I was seeking. “Hmm. Why did I get up? What the…”
I do this dementia dance three or four times a day. I swear. I get thirsty pacing aimlessly in my own pad. So it’s mighty handy when I end up in the kitchen.
Time and space. Is it any wonder that Albert Einstein’s hair stood on end as if he had just stuck a screwdriver into an electrical socket? Nice ‘fro bro.
Fittingly, I’ll close this piece with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers, Steven Wright.
“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”