Last night being Saturday night (although it could have easily happened on a Thursday, or Friday, or Sunday, for that matter), the typical debaucherous, drunken chaos ensued. Herds of 18-20something year olds took to the streets to shriek, stumble and smash things in their efforts to drink as much as possible. My morning runs with my dog almost always involve dodging shattered glass, and often avoiding the carcasses of burned sofas, couches, tvs. It is EXACTLY like what you see in the movies when a sunny, Californian college party scene is portrayed. Well, exactly like that except way more real and way more ugly.
As I was going out to my car this morning, I noticed a woman’s purse near the front tire of my truck. To set the scene a little more: my car port opens onto one of the main thoroughfares in a place called Isla Vista, aka 'I.V.', aka 'H.I.V.', near the University of California at Santa Barbara.
So, back to the purse. I poked at it with my foot and felt that it was full, so it obviously wasn’t left on purpose. As I knelt down to open it and look for some identifier, I paused. Why had someone been in the far corner of my unlit, off-street car port? Being the amateur detective that I am, I recalled my evening dog walks during Halloween week, when I had seen more vagina than I ever cared to while girls peed in public, especially in the parks where I take my dog, too drunk to bother finding a dark corner.
I noticed the darkened spot on the ground near the handbag, and found myself surprised that I hadn’t smelled it prior to my little deduction. Now, getting a stranger’s urine on my hands is high on the list of things I don’t like to have happen to me on a Sunday morning, so I scooted the bag away from the spot with my foot, and gingerly pulled out a wallet. Oh Djenne, you must be missing your credit cards, driver’s license, student ID, keys, and employee badge. Probably not missing the half eaten burrito as much, though.
I must be honest. I debated whether or not to find way to contact Djenne the driveway-urinator for awhile. But I’m not without a sense of empathy and my own personal history of peeing in public. I try to do good regularly, and not just for myself. However, some things are easier to do than others. I wasn’t able to find a phone number in the purse, but, once again, those amateur detective skills paid off and I called her workplace, where they passed along my phone number to her. She called back within 10 minutes, and 15 minutes after that she was happily reunited with her questionably clean purse, very relieved and thankful. A win for Djenne and a do-gooder’s victory for me.
Djenne's bag, shortly before she retrieved it.
On the phone when she had called, in a semi-coherent, embarrassed rush, she had said:
“oh man I’m so glad you found it I’ve been looking everywhere dude I don’t even know what happened last night…”
Dude, I wouldn't want to know what happened last night even if I could.