I sat in my car with my head buried in my hands and cried, even as the guy in his suit and tie leapt out in the street trying to find the check that was, by then, at least to Provo with the strength of the wind. And in that moment, the culmination of a really crappy day just hit me. A ton of bricks at my head. From this morning when I plucked my Portia from her gymnastics class after being somewhat callously tossed aside by the instructor when she bumped her head and was left alone crying on a mat. And the scene I made, hands and voice shaking as I told the instructor I was pulling my daughter from the class immediately. From feeling excluded recently. From second-guessing myself, feeling that maybe it hadn't been "brave" to publish my raw book as someone in church had mentioned in passing, but rather foolish because now I felt a vulnerable mess to everyone I saw. I was a vulnerable mess as I left the bank, went splotchy-faced to my daughter's school and picked her up. I felt a vulnerable mess as Bianca and I crept around the Wal-Mart parking lot searching every scrap of paper stuck between bushes and against street curbs, hoping that maybe we'd find our paper birds taking a rest from flight, our needles in a haystack.
As we returned home, dejected, I imagine hopefully (and probably a little foolishly) a real bird circling around and snatching the paper from the sky or stuck inbetween some leaves of a tree and gobbling the numbers up. I imagine a person finds the check and rips it up because kind people still exist in the world. I went home and fell into my bed and cried under my covers until it was dinner time. In sleeplessness 5 am the next morning, I feel dread calling my friend and telling her what happened. I spend hours reliving that one second when my fingers are able to grasp that check and my small (but enormous to me) fate changes. If only I could have that one second back.