I’ve always been struck at a) how often I manage to lose things and b) how I almost always manage to get them back.
In college, I lost my wallet two times: I put it down while signing a petition in the quad, I stuck it on top of the gas pump after I paid. Each time, it was returned to me with nary a scratch. Well, other than the time I left it on the gas pump and it proceeded to get run over by every single car in the lot. Either way: nothing was stolen. Good people went out of their way to get it back to me.
I always figured it was the nature of living in a small town. A friend left her purse (and my wallet!) in the back of a cab in San Francisco on the eve of New Year’s Eve this year, and I woke up to charges for gas and RedBox on every single one of my credit cards. So I spent my New Year’s Eve morning at the DMV getting a new license and canceling my cards, and I figured my good luck had run out.
I had grand plans last Friday night: bike home after work to meet my super to install a couple of shelves, make a quick dinner, head back into the city to hear Bill Bryson speak. I biked home using CitiBike, New York City’s new bike-share program, called my super only to have him cancel on me, and walked up to my front door…and realized I didn’t have my keys. They weren’t in my bag. I couldn’t have left them at work because I locked the door and I used the CitiBike FOB to bike home.
I called my roommate, and found out she wouldn’t be home until late. I called the drugstore outside of the CitiBike docking station and asked them to check the stations, which they so kindly did. I called my gym to make sure my contact information was up to date in case someone turned in my keys. And then I called two of my closet friends who live in Brooklyn, and asked if I could crash on their couch.
Just as I was settling in with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a season of Sex and the City, I got a call from CitiBike. They gave me the name and the number of the man who had my keys. I called the man, he told me where he was having dinner, and I hopped on the train to go back to Midtown. Man told me that a delivery guy on a bike had biked up to him at a stoplight, and handed him the keys. He called CitiBike, and the rest is history.
I realized I lost my keys around 5:30 p.m. and I had them back in my hands by 8:30 p.m. One of my favorite quotes is from Anne Frank: “In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart.”
It’s easy to get annoyed with people in New York City, simply because you’re always surrounded by them. They’re loud and they’re brash and everyone is looking out for themselves. The headlines every day are about murder and rape and burglary and all of the terrible things people do.
But one of my favorite things about living here are the little moments that remind me that people really are good at heart. The incredibly kind man who went through the trouble of getting me my keys back. The smile exchanged with someone on the subway. The person who picks up your scarf and gives it back when you drop it. A door held open, a subway card swipe when you need it, a hug from a stranger (or just a knowing glance and the gift of being left alone) when you’re crying on the street: it’s in those moments that I think that people in New York City might be the nicest people in the world.