It happened in college in the women’s bathroom in the student union. I was washing my hands when a woman walked in, plopped her purse on the shelf next to the mirror in front of me, and disappeared into a stall. Before the toilet even flushed, I had plucked her wallet from the bag and was out the door.
I didn’t need the money, but I wanted it. I think I bought beer, maybe peanut butter with it. It was 80 bucks, but it didn’t last long.
She had tickets to The Clash that night, good seats, too. I dumped them in a trash bin a few blocks away. I couldn’t exactly bring them back to her or use them myself. I still feel bad about that.
I mailed her driver’s license to the address listed—somewhere in Kentucky, probably her parents’ home.
I work at a bank now. In Iowa, a man was fired from Wells Fargo because he stuffed a cardboard dime into a laundromat’s washer 50 years ago. And I could have lost mine for some Jif and trashed tickets to a punk rock show.