I found an old journal today. The bulk of it was written in the summer of 2004 while on a road trip up the California coast with a boy.

On one page in black cursive I had written this:

“When you can open up your wallet and find nothing but your license, a grocery card and a credit card, it is safe to say that you have no attachments to a place.”

Six months later I packed up and moved to California.

In the entry I had cataloged the contents of my wallet.

  1. Massachusetts license
  2. Expired college ID
  3. Grocery card
  4. Bike lock number
  5. Coffee card – two cups away from a freebie
  6. Confirmation hotel room number
  7. $80
  8. Social Security card
  9. Health insurance card

Underneath I had written: “Nothing resembling the history of a life outside of magnetic strips and an identity based on numbers. I clearly have a long way to go.”

After reading the entry I decided to see what is inside my wallet now – almost exactly four years later.

  1. California license
  2. Bank card
  3. Health insurance card
  4. Grocery card (do we see a pattern?)
  5. Two old dentist appointment reminder cards
  6. Three BART cards amounting to $26.75 of total fare left
  7. AAA card – two – one expired, one new
  8. Old emergency contact list from my days as a reporter. No one I know works there anymore
  9. Card from a man I met in a diner who said that after 30 years of praying God was finally giving him strength back in his paralyzed legs. Printed on his light blue business card read: Jesus makes my Spirit Soar
  10. Expired Massachusetts license
  11. Social Security card
  12. $5,000 bail bond certificate. (Hopefully I won’t ever be needing this.)
  13. Coffee club card – 10 more to go for a freebie
  14. Card from where I volunteer at a South Bay homeless shelter
  15. Old Hollywood video card. (This feels like something I would have had four years ago. Has it been that long since I cleaned out my wallet?)
  16. Boston Charlie Card for the T.
  17. Five gift cards of varying amounts to places I never shop at from two Christmases ago.
  18. Business card of doctor I went to once. He referred me to five different doctors all over the Bay Area. One for eyes, one for breast care, one for blood work, one for my finger and the other for something I can’t remember. I never went back to him.
  19. Best friend’s business card
  20. Work ID card

In sum: I still drink coffee. I ride public transportation. A lot. I have too much crap in my wallet. I still have a long way to go.

2 thoughts on “experiment

  1. That doctor “for your finger” isn’t for the finger you broke in 7th grade, is it? You know, when you had to (deep breath, potentially embarrassing/traumatic reference coming up) wear the Posi Block? I still think about that thing. In fact, two nights ago I thought about it when it was too loud outside my apartment to sleep and I wished I had some sort of soft, malleable block-type thing that would mold to the side of my head to block out all noise. (Why not earplugs, you ask? Because who wants little thingies stuck in their ears?) I decided I am going to finally get rich by inventing this thing. I will name it after you. The Munsey Block–so quiet, it’s like being in a cave. Without actually having to be in a cave.

  2. Hey Duder!
    I am still scarred about having to wear the possi block. No wonder I don’t go to reunion stuff. Dear lord, looking back I can’t believe the doctors would actually put a kid in middle school through that. At least I didn’t have to wear my headgear to school too? But to answer your question, no, it was not the same finger.

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