It is a warm September night. Our heroine, a mysterious brunette, pulls her sister's Ford Taurus into the neighborhood Mobile station for some much-needed petroleum. Alone and vulnerable, she distracts herself from the surrounding darkness by squeegeeing the gnat corpses off of the windshield. The pump finally pops off, and she pulls away from the station, full of pride in her generous spirit.
But alas! What is this? She has driven away from the station with her wallet sitting on the roof of the car! How could she be so thoughtless!
But she does not notice. She drives a few miles due west, into the cold remains of a long-dead sunset, without a care in the world. She makes a few break-neck turns that will cause much grief later. She picks up her sister, drives home, then drives into the next county to visit the farm. It is now midnight.
Finally home, nearly thirty minutes later, she places her treasured belongings on the kitchen table. She pulls some money out of her pocket to transfer to her wallet.
Her wallet! Blast! Where is her wallet? It isn't here, not in the giant purse, not on the table! She remembers, with pain, the moment that she placed her wallet on the roof of the car. She knows that is the only way it was lost. She knows she must backtrack and search.
And search she does. For more than an hour she scours her course, driving slowly through town, eyes strained to the dirty curbs and cobblestones. There are several cops parked, some pulled over and flashing already. Normally she would not worry, but she is driving suspiciously, circling slowly and methodically, and she does not have a driver's license with her.
The track seems endless. Back and forth, turn and check, cursing and lamenting. She calls two different police departments, considers calling the credit card company, all the while her gaze glued to the side of the road. She knows that any turn or bump could have jostled the wallet in any direction. Luckily she knows it could only be between the gas station and her sister's friend's house, so there is not much ground to cover.
And cover it she does. Occasionally, a lump of tar or a mangled jock strap will cause a leap of hope in her heart, but upon second perusal she is always disappointed. The night seems endless. She is beginning to think about the process of freezing accounts, reapplying for a license, acquiring a new social security card. She is suddenly very, very tired.
something from the darkness reaches out and speaks to her. It might be nothing.
It might be a sock.
But something on the side of the road causes her to wonder...She cannot stop now. There is a car behind her. But she can turn and circle back around the block. This is too important to overlook.
She makes it around again and parks her car on a side road, door blatantly ajar and engine running. She trots to the curb. It seems so far away. She tries to look sober, sane, and unhookerish. She must only get to the curb.
There it is! Oh frabjous day! Forlornly propped on the cold concrete, there lies her black-and-white $10 clutch. It seems too good to be true.
But it is. Unsquashed, unlooted, and only 1/4 mile from the gas station, her wallet has been patiently waiting. A needle in a haystack, a dark smudge in a dark smudge.
She returns home, relieved and exhausted, and confident. She is confident that with obsession, diligent naivete, and sheer luck, even the biggest moron in the world can recover from the stupidest of blunders.