A lost wallet
May 29, 2022
A moment’s sadness at a passing of an object that’s accompanied so much of my life. Actually, I don’t know how long I had my old wallet. I don’t know where I got it, or where, so constant that for the past decade - two decades? - it’s seemed always near.
Almost always. I know I lost it twice, first on a train. I helplessly remembered just as it left the platform. But I reclaimed it at the lost property office at Bristol Temple Meads with the heady sense that calamity had been averted.
The second time I lost it for good.
Dark leather worn to a shine and shaped to the curve of generations of cards within. A leaf motif on the corner, mark of a brand I never knew the name of.
First-class stamps. Driver’s licence. National Trust card. Paper now, not plastic. Library cards, lost and unlikely never to be replaced. I used to feel civic pride to use our local library, but we haven’t been for a few years. It was for the kids, not me, and now they’re older I realise we failed to make them care about books. Oh no. But then, I haven’t read a physical book in years, either.
And my debit card, safely frozen by the bank moments after I realised it wasn’t with me. No danger, no drama. Just left with regret that a thing that used to always be with me is gone forever.
I located it at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport lost property office. I must have left it on a seat in departures after buying a bottle of water. I even heard an announcement for me over the airport Tannoy as I boarded the plane. I tried to reclaim it, but the lost property office failed to send it to me, and now, I assume, it’s been destroyed, as they threatened.
An ignoble end.
A new one has arrived, but it enters service just as cash and cards enter their end times. Despite its eight artfully positioned compartments, I know it’ll never have the same constancy as my old wallet. Buying it felt like upholding a habit that’s nearly as old as me. But with odd bank notes and a new debit card floating dangerously around the house, I needed somewhere to tidy them away.
And an update…
June 10, 2022 Earlier this week, and from out of the blue, I got a call from Arlanda’s lost property office. They said they still had my old wallet and did I want them to send it to me, free of charge? Now it’s back with me and I’ve a quandary: go back to old familiar or go on with the new?