Most of them I return to lost and found (well, the thong I left right there). I will admit to occasionally taking an umbrella or two. If the item remains in lost and found for a few months, and I think I can sell it on eBay, I may take it back. It's just one of the perks of the job, I guess.
Yesterday, I found a little black, leather-bound book that appeared to be a journal. I opened it to look for a name, which it had on the front inside cover, and in the space next to reward for finding this book, the owner had written, "my soul." Also, on the inside cover was tucked a folded up piece of paper. Because I am a bad boy, I opened it and saw that it was some kind of doctor's note saying that the person had an eating disorder. I flipped through to discover that it was her food journal.
Because I am much worse than you think, I scanned a few pages. I don't know why I did this, because if anyone read the crap that I write I'd be super-pissed. In fact, that happened to me once and it totally ruined my life, but curiosity got the better of me. This girl was writing about how much it bothered her to eat lunch, even though her therapist had instructed her to do so. Apparently, she couldn't get her mind around eating because she knew, even though she was probably only 18 years old (too young to really know anything), that she would get fat. She wrote a lot about that mental aspect of it, of getting her mind around the fact that she needed to eat to live. She talked about things her therapist said, things her mother said, punching her mother, taking supplements. Then I stopped reading. I had seen enough to give me something to think about. I put the book in lost and found and went home.
The more I thought about it, the less I understood how hard it is to eat. Maybe it's the diabetes and the eating thing that I have, but that's a very physical thing. I guess I never thought about the mental part of it before. I dated a girl who was bulimic once, and all I could think about was the classic George Costanza quote, "I'm paying for those meals!" This was the first time I had ever thought about it as a mental issue. Which is odd, because everything is a mental issue, really.
Because I'm trying to be a good man, when I went into work the next day, I went down to the main office (where the lost and found is located) and asked my friend Liz to look the girl up and contact her so she would be able to get her journal back. I didn't want to leave it up to fate that she would stop in and check lost and found. I don't know if it translates as a good deed, but it's the best I can do.
But I'll be collecting that soul anytime now.