Weird stuff happens to me. I'm writing my next book while I'm on my Frazzled Tour because, during those long train journeys, I'm undisturbed, can focus and if I get bored I can look out and see the odd cow, unlike my home which is the Grand Central Station of distraction. So, last Sunday at midnight, I was in a taxi coming back from Victoria station, writing in the back seat and when I got to my house, put the computer into my suitcase. Two hours later I realised that my computer was missing and, horrified, remembered that as I got out the case wasn't completely zipped - so clearly my computer slid out.
A small note here: during a few of my more severe bouts of depressions, certain things have coincidentally gone wrong with my computers - they've broken down, been lost or I've spilt liquid on them. In my book A Mindfulness Guide to the Frazzled I wrote about a whopper of a depression I had two years ago, in America where again, coincidentally, my computer for no reason went blank and no one at any Apple store could bring it back to life. I toured the States trying to peddle my book in a state of complete and utter mental illness. I went from one Apple Genius bar to another and not one genius could bring it back to life. So, last Sunday night, when I realised that my computer was gone, a trigger switched on bringing back the memory of that old familiar feeling of despair trickling in drop by drop. I called the lost and found for black taxis, which is communications answer to the black hole of Calcutta. I went to the Apple Store Genius Bar in Westfield begging them to please call iCloud and tell whoever's up there that I'd pay a big reward if they could find my unsaved documents. They looked at me with pity.
Then, on Monday night, I got an email from someone called Tiffany Sweetman, telling me she had been in Brick Lane on Monday morning (I only lost it Sunday night ) and bought a computer from some guy selling used computers. The dealer told her it was an original and rare rose gold 2016 Mac Air which usually cost £2,000 but he would do her a deal at £1,300. She paid the money, took it home and realised it wasn't rose gold, it had a pink plastic cover which made it look like gold. She then opened it up and (I don't have a password) saw a photo on the screen of me posing with the Dalai Lama, and tracked down my email address, sending me her phone number. I called her straight back.
I said, wherever she lived please could I come over and copy my unsaved documents, thanking her again and again for getting in touch. When I asked where to find her, she told me she works at The Palm Tree Gallery at 291 Portobello Road (about three minutes from where I live). OK, so some of my friends said she must be a great scam artist and I should be careful. But, she didn't ask for money so what could be the scam? They couldn't figure out it but said there must be one.
I went to the gallery and met Tiffany; young, great looking and gushing with sweetness, saying that even though she paid £1,300 she doesn't mind, she wants me to take the computer because it would be bad karma if she didn't give back what was mine. I offered her money as a reward, which she refused to take saying she had a roof over her head and wonderful friends - it would make her so happy to return it. I told her that I'm a natural born cynic about people being kind at heart but today my world's been flipped on its head, meeting a rare and genuine altruistic human, and that I would remember this for the rest of my life. If you're nearby go to the gallery to see this goddess. It gets more unbelievable. She insisted on giving me several works of art from several artists who she said 'adored' me and would want me to have them. (They were sensationally edgy by the way). One of the artists was her husband,Richard, who I spoke to on the phone.
By the way, the document I was working on in the taxi and didn't save was the beginning of a chapter on compassion. I had written that compassion isn't a subject I'm an expert on because, having depression I find it hard to forgive myself and find self-compassion difficult to access. Tiffany's husband Richard said to me (I asked if I could record our conversation), "what's happening these days is people have forgotten we're human beings. If you fall over in the street or if I do many people just keep walking. We don't usually help each other, we should pick each other up and maybe we could have a conversation and maybe something great comes out of it but because we're so stuck in social media we don't have time to think about each other. It's just so cold. We forget we're human beings." He works with homeless kids. He continued, "I try to give back not because I say I feed the homeless, but for my sanity. Because you need to give something good every day and that's to do with being human, like making contact with people saying something nice or with someone homeless saying to them, 'I thought about you when I walked past you and I needed to come and talk to you.' More actions, we need to take more actions as humans because we're too cold."
Well, that's the opening paragraph now of my chapter in my book, the book that I'm writing at the end of Tuesday on the computer Tiffany returned to me.
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