The first time I lost my passport was at a dirty pub called Macbeth.
"Manflu" was playing. A punk band fronted by Aza Shade, a fellow csm student, beautiful girl from Kazakhstan with purple hair and a racous voice to blow your socks off. A younger funkier version Karen O, if you will.
While their guitar and drums burst out the heavy tunes, I couldn't stop my body from dancing and jumping all over the tiny, crowed dance floor. That moment was euphoric. But what was soon to follow was more like a great panic when, as I was leaving the place as drunk as a monkey, I realised my passport was missing from my jacket pocket. Yes, you may wonder "Why would anyone in his right mind carry around his passport to a gig?" Well, firstly I was young and foolish. Secondly, I got told off before by bouncers for not having proper ID. From that night though, I have learnt that not getting in to a club is a lot better than to risk losing a passport.
So there I was, at Hoxton police station the next day, telling the Police Officer "I must have dropped it somewhere.." He didn't really respond, just shook his head and gave me the police report with his scribbles on it.
It wasn't until the second time though, that I really recognised that buzzing feeling before losing my precious something.
I guess it sounds silly but my mind just knew it was going to happen. Precisely at 18:05, I got on the no.23 bus with heavy grocery bags, in them were all the asian goodies ready to be cooked for my dinner party that night. I was excited, exhausted and buzzing at the same time. I then started to feel anxious, knowing that I've gone over my body limit and my consciousness wasn't really quite there. I even tapped my pockets to check if I had everything...and although it was there at that moment, a few minutes later as I got off the bus i realised my wallet continued it's journey with the no.23. Desperately running after that bus, with 5kg of rice along with the ingredients for a perfect green curry for four, my mind kept retracing the possible moment my wallet left me. Amazing how it only takes a split second to lose something I hold so dear. Then there it was, that emptiness in my stomach; not from hunger, but from realising how flaky life really is. Later I managed to hop on the next no.23, explaining how I dropped my wallet on the bus infront, and the driver was kind enough to let me tag along to their last stop; the bus garage in clapham. Finally, at 10pm, I caught up with the no.23 in the garage, but this time it was empty. No people. No wallet. The driver offered me a cigarette. He suggested calling the TFL Lost and Found office the next day. I instead called my banks and cancelled all my cards. 2 weeks later the TFL was the one contacting me. I went to pick up my wallet at their Lost and Found office at baker street. Although it was a lot thinner with all my cash missing; all the cards were there and my good old wallet was again back in my life.
Since then I have become very wary of that buzzy feeling. Every now and then when I start to feel like I've done too much, going over my physical and mental limit, I would tell myself to stop, cancel those meetings, call in sick and let the world go by without me for a day or two. Meanwhile I would hold on to my belongings very closely and double check that everything is where it is supposed to be. People say I'm crazy, but those who are close to me would understand. One has to listen to one's instinct - no explanation needed.
So on that Thursday night, at the buzzing opening party inside a small gallery in soho, I was particularly nervous. After a long day at school, I knew I was pushing my limit and, sure enough, the familiar feeling was there again. It sent warning signs all over my body but somehow I chose to ignore it. I put my coat in the cloakroom, thinking to myself "there's no turning back now".
My instinct was proven right.
Someone in the crowd approached me, asking what I was drinking.
We started to talk and before I knew it, my most precious belonging was lost.