The wallet is a woman’s, fat with money
and credit cards from places like Sak’s and Peck & Peck and
Lord & Taylor, and it belongs to the blonde in the fur-trimmed
coat—the blonde he has earlier seen in conversation with the criminal
brunette. She, too, is breathless, as is the police man with her.
“That’s him,” the blonde girl says, “He
lifted my billfold.”
It occurs to the man that he cannot even
prove his own identity to the policeman.
Two weeks later—the embarrassment and rage
have diminished, the family lawyer has been paid, the confusion
in his household has receded-the wallet turns up without explanation
in one morning’s mail. It is intact, no money is missing, all the
cards are in place. Though he is relieved, the man thinks that for
the rest of his life he will feel guilty around policemen, and ashamed
in the presence of women.