So something ridiculously wonderful just happened –
I went to start working today, and found my briefcase in the chair.
I’m not sure you understand. This particular briefcase has been lost since July last year, when I came home from my … experience at the brain injury rehabilitation foundation, the one that did a few good things for me, but on the whole wasn’t nearly as useful as I hoped it would be. I crabbed about it a lot shortly after leaving; I felt like I had a right to, because I had high hopes, and I was severely let down in that regard.
My bad, I suppose. The Buddhists say that they who have expectations of a thing inevitably get let down by that thing, whereas those who have no expectations are always pleasantly surprised by what they get. And yes, that’s a paraphrase, not a direct quotation.
Moving back home was such a whirlwind, as you might recall. I surely do. In my last staffing – meeting with the clinicians in which you find out how you’re doing – they said great, you’re about to graduate, any last words? This was a week or so before I moved out, I think. I knew that my wife Gina had stuff going on at the house, and wouldn’t be ready for me to come home quite yet, so I asked if it would be okay if I stayed another two weeks or so.
Suuuuuure, they said. No worries. Just start getting your stuff ready to move out.
Which I did, slowly but surely – until Wednesday, 03.July.2013. “You’re moving out. Now,” they said.
Which meant that I pretty much had to throw the rest of my stuff in whatever was handy, the maintenance man helped me move (and almost killed my computer in the process), and around 12 noon I turned up on my own doorstep with a sheepish grin, saying “Hi hunny, I’m home … ?”
To which Gina said “They didn’t tell me you were coming home today!” Small surprise there; they never really told her anything. And at that point, she, my daughter Ariann and a boy that Ariann was quite smitten with at the time were all getting ready for an anime convention. I was the proverbial fifth wheel.
Robert the maintenance man and I threw my things in the house in as haphazard a fashion as we loaded the truck, shook hands, and that’s the last of it. I’ve been back a time or two, but … it’s not nearly the same.
Somewhere in the move, though, I lost my briefcase. That’s what I carried with me everywhere at the foundation. It had my memory book, my planner, my journal (of no small importance to a writer), some reading material, a place to take notes, a journaling workbook I’d planned on working with, called “After Brain Injury: Telling Your Story,” and some other miscellanea. I called the foundation to see if they still had it, if I’d forgotten it in the truck (I thought I remembered placing it in the seat between Robert and I), but to no avail. It had vanished into this black hole of stuff we call a house.
And now, mysteriously it has somehow found its way to my chair. I did not put it there last night; this is something I would have remembered. Gina must have done this. She must have found it; I am dying to know where, but I am refraining from texting her, because I want to see the expression on her face when she tells me.
I still can’t believe it, though.
By the way, for some reason it’s an amazingly difficult thing to find on the internet – a picture of a briefcase sitting in an office chair. You wouldn’t think, but there you go.