In my last post, I mentioned that I found a wallet walking Ginger. It was early in the morning, really early, with the sun just coming up. We were walking near Spring St. and I was half asleep, my eyes absently following the curb. Ginger stopped to sniff a crack in the sidewalk and after a few moments a wallet registered near the gutter.
The wallet was small, designer, the kind that has slots for credit cards and a license, but no opening for money. Maybe you'd carry your money in a clip or cram it into your front pocket. Or maybe you don't need money anymore because of plastic and Apple money and bitcoin.
I picked the wallet up and took a quick look through it. There was a hotel card, a lot of cards for tattoo shops, and then I saw a license. The name on it was Sergio Sanchez and in the picture he had a nice enough face. Ginger and I had a walk to get to, so I put the wallet in my bag, we went to the dog run, and about an hour later we came home. Once she was settled I did a quick search and found many Sergio Sanchez's. I googled his address and a few clicks later I found him.
He was an artist and tattoo artist. I found a few email addresses for him and by the time I made a cup of coffee he had exuberantly written back. He couldn't believe I found it. He was midtown at a hotel and came right down, and after he gave me a huge hug he patted his pockets, like he was looking for money to give me a reward. I didn't want one or need one - I've been mugged and what sucked wasn't just the pain of losing my wallet but losing all the little irreplaceable things I kept in it. Plus, I loved that wallet. I didn't ask Sergio how he felt about losing his wallet, or if he liked his wallet, or how and when it went missing, but I do know that if you lose a wallet you want it back.
The address for this blog is a tag in my emails, so he must've checked it out while we were emailing. He liked the blog and loved Ginger's pictures, and for a thank you he wanted to do a drawing of her. Though I genuinely didn't want anything, how do I say no to that? Could I say no to that?
He seemed like a sincere guy and I know how gratitude in the moment can make you want to give the moon to whomever you want to give it to. I also know that time passes and life gets in the way despite best intentions. I had no expectations whatsoever, and I was surprised when a week or so later he emailed me looking for a hi-res Ginger picture. I sent him a few, still with no expectations. Which is why I was completely shocked and elated when, two months later, his wife emailed me for my address. He had finished the drawing.
The day I found his wallet I checked out his website and saw he had done some gorgeous animal tattoos. Really beautiful. I was on my way out when the drawing showed up and Joe wanted to let me open it. Though I got home very late that night I couldn't wait to see it and carefully opened the package. When I did, my eyes teared up.
The photo above doesn't do the drawing justice. Sergio captured Ginger's essence in his drawing, her angst and excitement and vulnerability and quirky self. His drawing is truly of our dog. It's so beautiful in person and I can't wait for it to come back from the framer so I can hang it.
My tears, though, were also because I was so moved that Sergio Sanchez took the time to do this drawing. He did it with love, too, which says everything about this guy. Humanity can feel like it's cracking and crumbling, to the point where I have to knuckle down and pray for faith. The drawing is a gift in so many ways. Sergio Sanchez, I thank you deeply.