I put my wallet on top of the car so that I could take a selfie at the gas station. That’s stupid, I told myself as I did it. You’ll regret that. Don’t do it.
But I put my wallet on top of my car, anyway, and took the photo and posted it, before gassing up before hitting the road to Winnipeg, where Elan and I had decided to meet for the weekend to work and play and eat great food and wander streets and hang out and go to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and have long, blue-sky conversations about the Future of Work and Life and Anthology and Everything. And then I got into my car and I drove off.
And then I realized within a minute exactly what I had done. By the time I got back to the gas station — remembering to inhale and exhale and drum, drum drumming my hands on the steering wheel during the agonizingly long red light between me and my fears — my wallet was gone. Not on the ground next to the pump. The attendant inside hadn’t seen it.
And so I stood in the parking lot of the gas station for a moment, trying to figure out my next steps. I had a car and a full tank of gas, but now no driver’s license or credit card or bank card or cash. So, really, I wouldn’t be able to make it to Winnipeg, would I? Not really. Not legally, or easily, not without a Guardian Angel to bankroll me, in cash, now. Did I have a Guardian Angel?
I was just processing all this fallout when a man drove up in a red truck.
“Are you looking for something?” he asked.
I don’t think I’ve ever actually uttered the words “Bless you,” before in my life (at least, not anyone who hadn’t just sneezed) but I did, then.
(It didn't even occur to me to open my wallet, check to make sure that everything was there. Because I knew it would be. And it was.)
And then I got on the road, and I drove, listening to Cheryl Strayed read from Tiny Beautiful Things, and that book is my new religion. I still need to reread it at a couple of million times and process it, but I'll take this lesson from it, for now: that little voice in your head? The one that says, That's stupid? The one that says, You'll regret that. Don't do it. Listen to that voice, and then also listen to it when it says, Do that thing, that thing that you're so scared to do. Because that thing will save your life. And also: You are surrounded by Guardian Angels. You just need to meet them, and also be one when called.
PS: Elan and I stayed in Winnipeg courtesy of Executive Suites by Roseman. The accommodations were lovely — comfy beds, fully appointed kitchen, easy-on-the-eyes decor. I'm guessing our Winnipeg digs were one reason why it took so much effort for us to actually venture out into the city; it was too easy to stay in and just hang out. Roseman put us up (thank you!), but I'm not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own.