half the things i've done

I was reading a thing about The Grey and depression and was thinking of writing about that... Hell, yesterday, I implied that I felt worthless, though really I was referring to the possibility of feeling like that again. Today, this day, I don't feel worthless. But, I have. And, I don't want to feel that way ever again.


I get to this bit about retrieving the wallets, "so they will not be forgotten. It is commonly said that men carry their whole lives in their wallets, but it's literal in this case; a man's whole identity and life in their pants pocket which is a sad, but realistically true." And, I think about my wallet when I should be thinking about my final thoughts on The Grey.

It's brown leather. It's texture is a little weird because this past Sunday it got rather wet when we went to Knott's Berry Farm and it poured down rain on us. We even went on the log ride in the rain. We were soaked. But, still, we stopped at an ice cream place on the way to the parking lot, got in out of the rain and had a treat.

It's falling apart. The section with pockets for credit cards and whatnot on the right is detached at the top from the back of the wallet and the lining on the part where you put cash is also detached. I need to get aa bunch of new clothes before the fall quarter. I also need a new wallet.

I've got $40 cash right now. Figured I'd need some for a play I went to tonight directed and choreographed by a friend of mine, and of parking tomorrow at the Pantages, and because, you know, life needs cash sometimes still. We haven't all upgraded to credit cards and apple pay. I've also got a folded and deteriorating "reward gift" from Costco in there--$15.69 in value except I think my Costco membership may have expired again. That I am not sure is kind of the point, though. In that money section, I've got a copy of my car insurance card (and there was a copy of the recently expired insurance card as well, which I will now throw away). Also, a ticket stub for About Time from November 2013, a theater in Burbank that I used to frequent all the time but now I don't get to as much; I've come to favor a theater here in Glendale even though it doesn't have as a good a matinee price. Also, photos, bent at the edges and stuck together. Three photos, one of each of my kids, and a fourth, family photo. We've all got red shirts; it was our one attempt at Christmas photos.

Break down the cards.

On the right: a Starbucks gift card given to me last year when I subbed for a fellow TA. The initial money was spent probably within a week. But, the Starbucks on campus won't scan the Starbucks app for my payment so I keep the card around. Behind that, my AAA card, which recently helped my get my car off the side of the highway. My Barnes & Noble membership card, though I only ever buy anything at Barnes & Noble anymore if I've got a good coupon. My AMC Stubs card, even though AMC is the theater I don't frequent as much anymore. A Staples Ink & Toner card that I didn't even know was in there. My Ralphs Rewards card--in case you're reading this in another state or another country, Ralphs is a grocery store. Finally, my LEGO VIP card, which gets me points at the LEGO Store; conveniently we've got one here in Glendale. I haven't built nearly enough with LEGO blocks this summer. I was going to make a Western town while I was watching Westerns last month but I never really made the time to even get one building finished.

On the left: my debit card, which expires next week. Behind that, my new debit card, which I haven't activated yet. Behind that, my Target Redcard--only credit card I carry in my wallet for some reason. In a separate leather thing that can be pulled out when I don't feel like carrying my entire wallet, I've got three campus IDs--my faculty ID for CalState Los Angeles, my student ID for CalState Los Angeles and my student ID for Glendale Community College. I haven't needed the latter for a couple years now. Also in that pull out section: my driver license--only just realized it says driver, singular, not possessive--and my social security card.

Behind that left bit with the pockets: my defensive driver training card. I don't think the physical card really matters, but without the defensive driver training course I wouldn't be allowed to drive for away trips with the speech team. Behind that, my My Juice It Up! card. Being a vegetarian, Juice It Up! is about the only place I can get sustenance on campus. Some of the food trucks we have sometimes have stuff I can eat, but the food court? not so much. Behind that: my old (last Winter quarter) human resources card proving I'm faculty which I've got just so I could get the cheaper faculty parking pass (for last Winter quarter; I'm going to throw that away now, too).

That's my life measured by my wallet. It shows that I'm a father. It shows that I'm a teacher. It shows that I like LEGO blocks and movies and Starbucks. It shows that I don't always keep up with everything--expired cards, a Costco reward but not even my Costco membership card. I almost wish that I had one of my Groundhog Day Project business cards in there so it would capture all the important elements of me. Maybe some sort of atheist membership card, or something that identifies me as a bleeding heart liberal, and something to do with tabletop games (to be fair on that last one, i tend to combine my Barnes & Noble membership discount with coupons only to buy games; everything else is usually cheaper online).

There would still be nothing of the twelve (I could have sworn it was 13 but I cannot come up with that many titles) novels I have completed, the six feature-length screenplays I've written, the shorter scripts, the one short play, the short stories, the poetry... I just wandered over to my school bag to find a business card. Couldn't find any of the Groundhog Day Project ones; maybe I'm out of them. But, my lemming drops studio card refers to me as "writer, artist, ideologue." I think I'll put one of those in my wallet.

(As Henrick leaps off a cliff, I just gotta add a note regarding Into the Wild instead of The Grey. That movie shows Chris McCandless destroying his ID and whatnot, leaving his wallet behind, burning his cash. In reality, he had his wallet and ID with him when he died. He did not so much leave his real identity behind as ignore it for a while.)

My life encapsulated in a leather shell, falling apart, worn and tired.

My life in some plastic and paper.

My life.


The movie has a bit more to go, but I will leave it alone, let it run and just watch the rest. Tomorrow, another movie. A week from tomorrow Groundhog Day. After that...


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