Christine Rowlands Writing and Editing - off topic

By: Christine Rowlands  09-12-2011

Today I couldn’t find the bus pass.

I had it last night when I got on the bus home, but this morning it was in none of the usual places: in the pocket of the coat I was wearing, in my purse, or  on the counter where I drop things when I come in the door. It wasn’t under the pile of papers cluttering the counter, or next to the computer, or on the dresser. It hadn’t fallen under the mat with the dog dishes, nor had it drifted under the fridge. I shone flashlights into the shoes, riffled the junk bowl.

It was gone. $110 bucks down the drain. You can’t buy a bus pass in the middle of the month around here, so I guess we’d have to shell out for some books of tickets. Damn, damn, damn.

I had a feeling that I’d probably dropped it on my way into the building last night. Maybe when I pulled out my keys or went to turn off the music player on my phone, the little, valuable piece of paper in its plastic sleeve had gone whoosh, onto the ground. Someone would have picked it up by now if that was the case.

My husband was philosophical about it. “So, maybe somebody gets to ride transit for free for the rest of the month. Maybe our luck will come back to us next month.”

As it happened, just before embarking on the Great Bus Pass Hunt, we’d said the magic word to the dog (“Walk?”) so she was all up in my face too. A dog will only hold out for so long, so we walked down to the park, then back along the busy road to our apartment.

When we reached the front door of the building again, my husband said something about looking on the ground for the bus pass. We had just walked along the road I had walked from the stop last night, but was so involved with heeling the dog and keeping her calm with the traffic (she likes to chase and bark at cars, if she has her way) that I hadn’t even thought about the bus pass.

So I looked at the ground, and something glinted in the driveway. A small object, dense with print. Is that a plastic cover? I went over to look, only half-believing my eyes. It was my monthly bus pass, dropped on the ground just as I suspected, and apparently unnoticed by anyone else.

Or was it just being reminded to look for the right thing at the right time?

Sometimes my detailed editor’s eye comes in handy for more than just spotting typos.

The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

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