I am looking for my bank card. It could be absolutely, quite literally, anywhere. Sometimes it falls out of the back pocket of my jeans and into the loo. Several times it has fallen out of my handbag and been handed back to me by shocked passers by. I paid for a flight with it this week, so it might well be somewhere near the computer. But I also remember emptying my bag in the kitchen this week for some reason long forgotten so it could be in there. If it's in the kitchen I'm totally fucked. I actually shudder thinking about it. The dog might have eaten it. It might be at work. I might have thrown it away in a rare fit of tidying on Sunday. Hell.
I try to search through piles of precariously balanced papers without dislodging them. It's like playing Jenga with bills. As I am searching, I am imagining an interview with myself some years hence, in which I describe this moment as the key turning point in my life.
"And I said to myself, Oprah, as I looked in the cutlery basket in the dishwasher, and in the dirty washing basket and the freezer, This Must Stop. And that was when I decided to declutter my life. Now I look back at the person I was then and I just don't recognise her. I mean, who can live like that? "
Oprah and I both shake our heads in disbelief.
My fantasy continues with me showing Oprah round my serene, gracious home, where there is place for everything and everything has its place. It is a warm, light white space with the kind of hidden storage favoured by the kind of couples featured in Architectural Digest. There are no moths, no precarious piles of vital paper, no salmon painted woodwork.
A child wanders across my field of vision, interrupting my reverie. It picks up a length of Portugese decorative ribbon and a plastic dragon from the middle of the kitchen table , then drops them in the middle of the floor when distracted by the tv. Nearby, the weepette sleeps in the debris from a bag of chocolate pumpkins it managed to locate by some act of doggy alchemy, in a cupboard while I was at work. It is also nursing a single shoe tenderly between its front paws. I think back to how I went into MaxMara earlier today to fondle coats. My dirty broken fingernails kept snagging in the cashmere yarn until I had to slink out in shame, the disapproving gaze of several salesharpies burning into my scalp.
Pushing a handful of Pokemon cards and a squashed jelly baby out of the way to sit down, I realise I don't think this is a turning point at all. And I don't even care much. I reason that losing the card at least prevents internet profligacy. I wonder if Oprah would be interested in a self-help regime based around that.