I called Enterprise this morning: they had found my phone, but I'd have to pick it up: they wouldn't drop it off for me. Rats.
My second thought was to rent a car for an hour, have Enterprise pick me up, then take the car to get my bike, drop off the car, and bike home. But Enterprise does not rent cars by the hour, and the one-day fee seemed excessive to my needs. Blah. My new plan became "take bus to the bike shop, then bike the 2.5 miles to rental car place, then bike the 3.6 miles home". This is a short ride by my standards: my usual after-work ride is around 10 miles.
I brought my backup phone to work, hoping I could write on it, but its keyboard is in terrible shape, with many keys often unresponsive. I wrote a few hundred words using the virtual keyboard, but it was just too painful to do any real work on.
I left work at 4PM, so I'd have some slack if I missed the connecting bus. The best possible time was 38 minutes, but I took an hour instead. I was ridiculously anxious through the bus trip. Not having my phone and not being able to confirm things on the fly with the net made me nervous. When I finally got off the second bus, I got half a block away before realizing I didn't have my lunch bag. I hurried back to the bus and made the driver wait while I tried to retrieve it. The bus was full of helpful people trying to soothe the crazy lady who didn't understand how buses worked and lost stuff. One nice woman who'd been sitting next to me at the bus stop exclaimed: "Oh no! Was that black bag yours? You left it on the bench at the last stop."
Oh. Well, kind of a shame she didn't ask me about it at the stop, but hey, at least I knew where I'd left it now. I thanked her sincerely and let the poor bus escape me at last. My lunch bag had nothing of value in it except for the key to the bank and the key fob, which would probably be expensive and annoying to replace if I didn't recover it. :/
I got my bike from the shop, and a new helmet because I'd forgotten mine and I was supposed to replace it anyway, and Rick threw in a bungee cord so I could tie down my purse, because I hadn't brought the bike basket along when I gave him the bike.
Then I set off for the rental car shop!
Within a mile, I already felt kind of unwell and nauseated, surprisingly so. It was a hot day, 95 or so, but I often bike in that kind of heat and it's never been a problem unless I've gone for several miles without shade. But I made it to the rental car shop without incident, collected my phone, and set off to Wal-Mart to see if my bag would still be where I left it at the stop. Even with going back to the bus stop, the whole trip would still only be 7-8 miles: again, shorter than I usually do.
I started to feel faint as I biked up a long gentle slope a half-mile or so shy of Wal-Mart. Maybe I should catch the bus at the Wal-Mart stop, and skip the last 2-3 mile ride to home, I thought.
In the last blocks before the bus stop, I started talking to G-d, which is a thing I do now and then and don't usually write about. I'm not entirely sure why I don't write about it. Because it's navel-gazey? Because I'm not properly religious? Because don't want to inflict the disquieting experience of listening to other people talk about their take on religion on my friends? These are pretty good reasons. But I will write about this bit anyway, because it amused me.
"So, hey G-d," I said, out loud because I don't care if passing cars think I'm a crazy person. "It's been a long time, and I have no right whatsoever to ask a favor of you because this entire situation is my fault and the result of me not paying enough attention to what I'm doing and the things I'm supposed to take care of. But I would still really appreciate it if my lunch bag would be where I left it. And if not, that's okay too. It only costs money, and that's what money is for." I gave a little sigh. "It seems I've been saying a lot of that lately. Anyway, that's enough about me. How are you? Work going all right?"
I don't think G-d talks to me any more than he talks to everyone else in the world, which is to say "all of the time but usually we don't understand and even when we think we're listening, we've got a good chance of getting it wrong." I didn't hear an answer, but I started grinning anyway, with this sense of G-d spreading his arms: "Hey, I've got the best job in the world!"
I laughed. "You're only saying that to cheer me up. You've got a terrible job. People are always asking You for stuff." And then I smiled more, because it didn't work. I couldn't picture G-d moping. "Okay, fine. God's job is great." I laughed. "And yes, the cheering-me-up part is totally working."
I arrived at the bus stop. My bag was not on the bench where I'd been sitting. A man standing nearby said to me, "Are you looking for your bag? I put it on the bus." He pointed to a bus waiting to leave. I marveled at my timing, hopped on, retrieved my bag, and thanked the nice man.
At this point, I should've loaded my bike on the bus's bike rack and taken the bus home, but I thought I was feeling up to biking the last few miles. This was ... true in the sense that I did in fact bike the last few miles to home, and false in the sense that I had to stop three times to rest because I was worried I was going to fall off my bicycle No idea why this ride was so grueling. Ugh.
But I made it, and I have all my possessions back, and I'm feeling back to normal. And feeling grateful to all the people who are watching out for me when I'm not. ♥