Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2013 > Daily Dispatch #128

May 9, 2013: Lost and Found

I am at heart, an anxious and moody person. But sometimes things happen that, at least momentarily, alleviate my anxiety and lift my spirits. Most of the time, these things are very inconsequential. Like this morning, I got up early, in order to get to yoga class on time. I (as a matter of routine) checked my wallet for my driver’s license, for I fear being pulled over and having my name in the paper. Palmer is a small place, and should you get stopped and pulled over, everyone will know about it. I don’t drink, so I will never get a DUI. But I do upon occasion misplace my license. This turned out to be another one of those times.

I tore around the cabin, looking for my license. Pete, upon learning that I could not find my license, but was going to leave anyways, told me to take my backpack with me. This way, if I was stopped, I could at least play the dumb shit by rooting around for my license before confessing that I didn’t have it with me.

I figured that I’d also hand Officer Friendly my passport, so this way he would not think that I was from outer space. With this in mind, I looked in my backpack for this item, but came up empty-handed. Oh oh, I thought. Now I’m doubly screwed.

On the drive to town, I figured out that I most likely misplaced my driver’s license when I went through the Anchorage TSA. And I most likely misplaced my passport when I went through the Portland TSA.

This made perfect sense. I get very anxious about flying and for this reason fall into a state of complete disarray when going through airport security. I try to do as other travelers do, and prepare for the Big Event (unloading one’s carry-on items beforehand), but, of course, I fall short of my desired goal, which is to appear like I have no physical or mental baggage. I suspect that if I flew more frequently, that I wouldn’t have this problem because, undoubtedly, I’d be less stressed.

The last time was par for the course. I threw stuff into bins, forgetting to remove my shoes. People behind me then began grumbling, as I took a moment to take them off. Then, when I was asked if I had a lap top, said yes, to which the TSA checker said that I’d need to remove it from my pack. Tee shirts, socks, and underwear went flying as I attempted to extricate it. Midway through the process I said something about my iPad being buried in my belongings, to which Ms. TSA said that a laptop is not an iPad, and therefore, I didn’t need to remove it.

I tossed my near empty backpack in one gray tub, and everything else in three other tubs. By now the line behind me was quite long. I sent it flying into the x-ray machine, and then stepped into the body check machine. After being okayed, I put on my shoes, stuffed my stuff in my backpack and pockets, and headed to Gate C-5, where passengers were already boarding the plane. In the midst of this, I forgot about double-checking to see where my passport was.

Now I had neither my license nor passport on hand. Getting new documentation was going to be a huge problem. I’d have to have Pete take me to DMV and to the post office. And I didn’t want to tell Pete, who is not very trusting of his absent minded partner. I can’t blame him. It is disconcerting for him to be constantly having to be responding to the refrain “I can’t find this or that.”

I also knew that I would need to act quickly on this matter. I needed a license to drive and a passport for going through Canada.

I was early for yoga. So I sat waiting in my car for Dori, the instructor, to appear and open the back door of the studio. I had nothing else to do, which was why I again checked my wallet. I wasn’t expecting to find my license; rather, I was again verifying that it wasn’t there. But there it was, tucked inside the card holder. I looked at it and then breathed a huge sigh of relief because now I could at least drive to the P.O. solo and pick up a new passport application form.

On impulse, I decided to again check my backpack for my wallet. I was convinced that this was not there. However, it was there – I’d tucked it into a side pocket while waiting for the plane home.

Needless to say, finding these items made my whole day. And being early, this made for a longer day. If there was a lesson to be learned – and I did learn it – it’s to (in the future) remain hyperconscious as to where these two items are when going through TSA. This ought not to be that hard to do. I got off easy this time, and at the same time learned this valuable lesson.

These finds were so momentous that I am going to remain happy for the rest of the day, and well into tomorrow.

Next: 129: 5/9/13: Trail Trials