I had been planning to meet Jen with Michael at Marvin. In my search for chicken and waffles across the nation.
But I was stuck across the street, back where I got off the bus. Back where I last remembered seeing my wallet.
Jen called me, “Where are you?”
“Across the street,” I composed myself. “I lost my wallet…”
“I am coming right over.”
I saw her hurry out of Marvin—a place where I was supposed to be enjoying delicious chicken and waffles out to the cold dark drizzly night. As she arrived and hugged me, I awkwardly introduced her to Michael.
Jen said, “Good to meet you…under the circumstances.”
I was frantic…I asked a driver of the MTA driver about lost and found. The driver just gave me an apathetic look, “Sorry.”
Then the circulator, the same line arrived. Michael and Jen followed me on as I explained my situation to the bus driver lady. I was already downtrodden, but not quite sure about my alternatives—the power of my credit cards, atm…and my id…gone. Do I have to get someone to fedex my passport? What would I have to do? Would I be stuck in DC?
The bus driver spoke on her radio. Between each call, she told me what was going on. I regretted being somewhat obnoxious on my initial ride, perhaps laughing and talking too loud with Michael. Perhaps I looked so helpless and fragile that she was persistent in trying to reach all the drivers.
“It was a bus line…about twenty minutes ago.” I hesitated in describing the African American driver. “It was a woman.”
“Can you describe her hairstyle?” she asked.
Normally in these situations, I would joke that everyone looked alike. I was suddenly afraid that I offended her. So instead, I simply said, “Sorry, I can’t remember…it was dark.”
There were three bus drivers on duty. One returned a negative. The other unfortunately didn’t have a radio. The bus driver told us to sit back since she had to continue on her route. Because the third bus driver did not have a radio, the driver would check in with the supervisor at the end of the line to keep status.
As we sat back, no fare needed, she apologized to the other passengers and I stumbled to seat. What if this third bus driver never responded? What if it was gone? Losing a cellphone, camera, keys…it’s easy to recover. But now what?
I was glad that Michael and Jen were getting to know each other…and they chatted as I tried to recollect my thoughts…