I made my Monday trek to San Francisco last night to go to Arabic class with the usual last minute mad dash scramble to get the train I wanted before it left the Fremont station. A few stations later, I realized I forgot my umbrella in the car and hoped it wouldn’t be raining when I got to the city. Turned out a lack of umbrella was the least of my worries.
On the train, I had an internal struggle as to whether or not I should get coffee before class, a tradition that I’ve had. The “why not” won out and I found myself in a coffee shop in the minutes leading up to class. As the barista turned to me and asked what I wanted, I reached into my Timbuk2 messenger bag to grab my wallet but instead my hand didn’t close on anything. I looked in. I forgot my wallet.
I said “Never mind” and walked out, realizing I didn’t have as much as a quarter on me. I was very careful as I crossed the street to get to class since I was mindful of the fact that if, God forbid, I was hit by a car, I didn’t have any form of identification on me.
I chided myself on the elevator up to 7th floor of the building to get to class, wondering if the other two people in the elevator somehow knew I was sans wallet. I told one of my classmates, a lady that I’ve become friends with, what happened. She offered me money for coffee but I declined. If anything, I was worried about the drive home from the Fremont BART station. I was reminded of one Simpsons episode in which the Simpsons escape from the cops and as Homer is about to start the car, Lisa says: “But Dad! You don’t have your license.” He tries anyways and when the car started he said, “It still works!”
Anyways, after class I walked over to the BART station with my classmate and she asked if I needed any money. After checking my BART ticket to make sure I had enough on it to get me home (I did, with 2 bucks to spare) I declined again but then thought better of it. “If it makes you feel better, I’ll borrow some money from you,” I said. I took the $10 bill she handed me and added: “Just don’t tell my mom.” I’m in the BIG CITY by myself WITHOUT my WALLET. My mom wouldn’t like that.
“At least you will have something to give if you get mugged,” she said. True, true.
I worried through my BART ride home, even if I did try to get lost in the This American Life podcast I was listening to. I felt a brief surge of horror as I thought I caught the wrong train connection but relaxed back into my seat when I realized I was on the right train. I got to my car back in Fremont and drove home veeerrry carefully. Turns out that my keys still worked despite a lack of license. I hate being without my ID though. Made me feel exposed.