Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Confusing Moment

Decided to get another rattan piece of furniture, this one with only a top shelf so my legs can go under it and my laptop on the only shelf. That will be the sixth piece we’ve bought from the little old lady who makes them in her hovelesque shop off the busy bypass. We love them because they are light and inexpensive. Nyoman Dogen and I figured out the exact measurements.

Mainly I sit working on the spaciousness of what Katrinka calls the sattee and Nyoman, sofa. I sit with my legs comfortably crossed, laptop on cushion placed appropriately on lap. Periodically, at least once an hour, I put my legs down and I know it would be better to walk around or swim a few laps then but usually want to continue laptoping and it’s a little awkward to keep it stable on the cushion on my knees. Thus out of necessity the image of this artifact was born. I can also use the proposed piece of furniture in front of a chair, the seat of which is half a foot lower than the sattee so that was taken into consideration in establishing the height. We drew a picture with the measurements. Actually I drew one which was lost in the confusion so then he drew one.

The confusion arose when I went to the drawer in the cabinet across the room where I keep my wallet which was there but something wasn’t right. My wallet was open – and empty of paper bills. Juggled that in my head for a moment. It’s never like that. It’s never unzipped in there. Haven’t taken anything out of it or opened that drawer since I put it in there at about six last night. That’s when I paid our sort of doctor 200,000 (bout $15) for an ear check up and some drops to deal with my always wet and often stopped-up ear canals. That's the amount I was going to give Nyoman. What had been left in the wallet were five one hundred thousand bills on one side, two tiny coins in the middle, and some small bills amounting to maybe fifty thousand on the other. Bout 40 bucks. Enough to last me a few days or more. Lucky thief - had just replenished. Unlucky thief – or thief in a hurry - the envelope with the reservoir of small bills next to it was untouched, blending in with the mishmash. Not unlucky but careless me now with that empty wallet - except for those two tiny shiny coins. There’s no time I could have dropped it. Haven’t been anywhere. Haven’t taken it out. When I was sleeping the screen door was latched and when the room was being cleaned I was right here facing the cabinet. Keep reviewing.

Oh –oh – didn’t lock up when I went swimming not long before Nyoman showed up. Never do. I can see the door from the pool --- and double oh oh --- talked to the owner of the hotel with the pool for a while – around the corner out of sight. Maybe fifteen minutes. Must have been then.

Next door told blind man Phillip, his Bali wife Rini, and his trusty aide Nyoman Mabuk. They were on the porch. No one was on their porch when I went swimming. The two males weren’t even back from their daily pub pilgrimage yet. Rini and her nanny Ilu were inside together with baby Mary who looks so beautiful and happy which distracted me for a moment. Philip asked if I had an idea who did it. I said I’m going to forget about it (Sort of). But he persevered, looking at it from Agatha Christie’s point of view, do any suspects come to mind? I said there were a few. He kept probing and I said that really it’s hard to see it as anyone other than one particular person, a person whom we like very much and who knows where I keep my wallet (but not the key to the safe).

Phillip knew whom I meant. I said they can keep it. I’m not even mad – not even at myself. When I suffer a loss, I don’t have to rely solely on the customary it’s only money etc type of thinking to try to banish darn-it feelings. I put it into my research and development budget. Also –as a kid sitting alone at night on the floor in front of the little TV in our den, I was so moved by the scene in Les Miserables where the policeman drags the urchin who stole the candelabra back to the church and the priest, who’d earlier taken him in, says, oh no I gave him that. The verdict here for thievery can be as bad as back then in Paris – a thief was just beaten to death on the street by angry locals in another part of touristy south Bali. No one will be lynched because of this and anyway, might still find that money on the floor or in some place I can’t now imagine. Or someone who knows where I keep my wallet could have walked up to the door looking for Katrinka or me and – that’s possible. Certainly other things I was sure of turned out to be wrong. Ask Katrinka. But I can’t shake the memory of him walking by quickly while just arrived Nyoman and I talked on the porch. Usually they say hello. Oh – if it is him, I bet he’s scared. I would be – running over and over through how all the evidence points only to me. Maybe I should ask him some innocent questions tomorrow so he’s sure I must know and doesn’t build confidence. Whoever it was I’m sure they needed it – maybe a sick child or a gambling debt. It’s hard to keep in mind that even here, rupiah are worth a lot lot more to the working class than the bule.

That all reminds me – need to write about the several times greater amount that my landlady’s sister stole from me in Tiruvanamali while near the Ramana Ashram for four months. I didn’t mention it in the unfinished India Trip Notes. Got to cash in on that 2011 research and development investment.

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