Last weekend, my wife and I planned to run errands. I wanted books on local plants, local birds, and I am still searching for a good Art Deco history text. When we were at the bookstore, I realized I didn't have my wallet. It wasn't a need — my wife had her keys and wallet — but I couldn't relax without having my wallet. It makes no sense, but I couldn't focus on the book quest or anything else. We ended up driving back to our house so I could retrieve my wallet.
We wasted an hour because I couldn't focus and relax without my wallet. There's nothing special about the wallet; it contains no photos and only the basics you might expect. If it had photos of my wife or special mementoes it might be logical to want the wallet. It has some cash and my insurance cards. Big deal. But I want my wallet with me.
I insist on writing with a particular brand of mechanical pencil, something I've mentioned on this blog before. The pencils are special; I cannot explain why, but I've used them since college. Seriously, the Pentel QuickerClicker models have been my choice since high school. When I cannot locate the right pencils, I cannot write in my journals. Yes, it is stupid, but that's how my mind works: locating the pencil becomes a priority when I'm trying to write.
Things are security. They include memories and emotions. My wallet? It's old and a bit worn, but it has been with me for years. I actually had my wallet from high school until a few years ago, when I finally convinced myself it would never be useful again. (It was a black denim wallet, matching my old acid-wash black Levi's 505 jeans.)
My wife is amazingly tolerant of my need to have some things on hand. She is more accepting of this impulse than I am some days. My wife realized I was tired, especially after battling the flu and anemia. She was fine with the round-trip to retrieve my wallet. I was upset for much of the day, feeling stupid for forgetting the wallet in the first place. I couldn't ignore the wasted hour, the wasted gasoline, and a general sense of frustration that refused to fade.
At least once the day was over I could sit with our cats and watch movies. Even on the worst of days, when my mind is completely useless and unfocused, a purring cat always helps.