You Live, You Lose, You Learn

In today’s day and age losing a phone is the equivalent to a code-red-top-level emergency. Our phones carry so much personal information, allow us to connect with our friends and social networks and cost so much money it’s understandable why a person would be thrown into a state of utter despair and chaos upon losing their mobile. I recently witnessed one of my friends get very antsy and anxious while I borrowed their phone for three minutes to order food. Three minutes.

So you can only imagine the panic and despair I felt when I arrived home Sunday night after Digital Dreams and realized that my phone had not made it home with me. Now, for me, Digital was for lack of a better term a shitshow. I got home around 2.am. with a mustard stain on my shirt (from lord knows where), a missing lens in my sunglasses, a cold sore, a girl in my bed and nearly no recollection of what happened to me between the hours of 9 and 12 p.m. After all the drinking and jumping and wandering I had done that evening I wasn’t surprised that my phone had gone missing. I’ve lost things before in much tamer circumstances.

What surprised me was when my friend reported that someone had found my phone at the concert and had already made arrangements with one of my other friends to have my phone returned to me.

I’ve heard stories of people having things stolen from them ranging from shoes at a house party to leather jackets at a bar and I know several people who’ve lost or had their phones stolen at clubs or rave-like events. With so many places the phone could have been dropped or left behind, with alcohol to cloud the memory and so many people who could have come across the phone it’s so easy to take someone’s phone.

Returning someone’s phone on the other hand takes a lot of effort: you have to contact the person’s friends to inform them you’ve found the phone, arrange a plan to meet up with the person or one of their friends and then physically meet up to return it, when you could’ve just turned the phone off, stuffed it in your pocket and schemed up the best way to make a profit off of it.

That’s what happened to me yesterday. My friend and the saint who found my phone messaged each other back and forth to schedule a meeting, in Ajax, for my friend to get my phone back to me. My friend told me that the guy was super nice (apparently we were raving together) and he had lost his phone there as well so he understood my situation and decided to save me the hassle of getting a new phone.

Hearing his story reminded me of another time I lost something and had it returned to me. Three summer’s ago I was riding my bike to the store to buy flowers and a card to go with some poems I wrote for the girl I liked – because I thought girls liked that kinda stuff – when I dropped my wallet. I didn’t realize the wallet dropped until I was standing in front of the register fruitlessly rummaging through my pockets.

My summer was ruined: The girl I liked would leave for school before I could confess my feelings, I’d have no money to spend to go out with friends and the money I did have would have to go towards busing all the way downtown for work. And work the next day was a nightmare. The shift was long, the line-up was never-ending and the commute home was brutal. When I finally got off the bus all I wanted was to be home so I could be openly miserable within the comfort of my room. While I was walking down the street I was approached by an old woman accompanied by a middle-aged couple, the old woman said that I looked familiar. I had never seen the woman before, so I said “oh really? That’s odd.” I didn’t think much of it, old people are always starting conversations with people in my neighbourhood.

When I got home my mom greeted me in the kitchen with a huge grin on her face. She said “guess what I have for you?” I was in no mood for guessing games and I doubted whatever my mother had for me would be worth my while. Then she held up my wallet. I was in disbelief.

Before I could even speak my mother informed me that an old woman had found my wallet and just dropped it off. She retrieved the wallet near Warden and Finch, found out who it belonged to then got a couple she came across to escort her to my house because she didn’t know where it was. I threw my shoes back on and sprinted out the door to catch up with the couple and the old woman who had stopped me earlier.

I found them close to the end of my street, I greeted them enthusiastically, then I hugged and thanked the woman for returning my wallet. She said she saw that it belonged to a student and imagined how stressful it would be to lose all my money and ID right before the school year started. I offered to give her the money that was in my wallet or to take her out for lunch but she politely declined. All she asked in return is that I “always remember to be thankful and to be good to the people you come across.” She and the couple she was with smiled tenderly at me and then made their way home.

Her words have always stuck with me. Since that day I’ve found and returned two phones as well as lost and had two phones returned to me.

It’s funny the way life works sometimes.

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