subject line: I lose things


Washington DC

I lose things more often than I wish was true. And it’s usually while traveling. Cars, trains, buses - each has sucked up a personal belonging or two over the years. I lost something today. I was on the metro coming home from a Saturday morning stroll downtown and I was so focused on the hot shower and big cup of coffee waiting for me at home that I got up with my keys still sitting on the seat. Now when you lose something on public transportation (a scenario with which I am all too familiar) many thoughts start running through your head. What if a serial killer just picked up my keys and he’s really committed and willing to try every lock in the city until he gets into my apartment!? What if someone took them off the seat and is now using my Bikeshare subscription to ride all around the city on my dollar? What if someone just takes them and throws them into the river because they were having a really bad day and just needed some catharsis for a moment?

But then I get this call and it’s a woman telling me someone has found my keys and I can give her a call. So I call this woman who is on the way to Chuck E Cheese and will gladly leave my keys with the police at the train station for me to pick up. In that moment on the phone with a lovely stranger I remembered that people are good. Maybe not all the time and maybe not good in the way we like to define it but I think that people have goodness inside of them. It oozes out of some and sits wrapped in chains inside of others. But we all have it. I forgot that for a while. I forgot that I love people and the varying shades of good that they carry around. I forgot that my fear of serial killers and freeloading cyclists is rooted in the belief that this world is full of hate and death and pain and nothing else. For so long I’ve let people tell me how very awful the world is and how scared I should be every time I step off my front stoop. But it isn’t true. The lady on the train to Chuck E Cheese reminded me that our world is not what everyone tells you. Our world is full of hope and goodness and nice people who are willing to go a little bit out of their way to make lost things found again.