I can't remember exactly when or where I got my Ghurka card case but I know it dates to just before the turn of the (21st) century. When I look back at all the places we have been together, how we aged together and how it was always there for me I can't help but feel overwhelmed by its loss.
Recently after so many years together I lost my wallet somewhere between the deli across the street and my office which is all of about 500 paces or so. When I realized it was missing I panicked. I retraced my steps time and again. I called the deli every few hours to see if anyone had turned it in. No one did.
When I told friends and colleagues of my loss they commiserated with me about the difficulty of obtaining new credit cards and licenses. What they couldn't understand was that none of that mattered to me. All new cards were in my possession within a day or two. The difficulty would be in replacing the 16 years of aging I had spent with that wallet.
As my hair lightened and started to show its grey, my wallet changed its appearance too. Starting out as the most beautiful light chestnut brown coloring my wallet darkened as the years went on. When you looked inside of the wallet at the areas that infrequently had been touched or exposed you could still see that beautiful shade of chestnut. The oils rubbing off from my skin moisturized the leather to a point of smoothness that can only happen with years of age. The imprint of my credit cards showed on both sides of the wallet from years of being tucked in the same slots every day. I could literally read the numbers off the wallet if I had too.
To be honest I'd tried to replace the wallet in the past. I'd thought to myself, it's time to make a change. I had no good reason. The leather was still in perfect condition. Every stitch still holding tight. I tried a few other wallets over the years. This one was too big, this one too stiff, that one too brown. They were never right. It was always only a day or two and I was always back to my Ghurka wallet.
I'm not sure what compelled me to always switch back so quickly. Was it the beauty of the well-aged leather? The perfect way it fit everything I always needed and nothing more? Or was it the history together? The fact that it had seen me through my graduations, my wedding, the birth of my son.
So now I find myself returning once again to make a choice which is forced upon me this time. I have tried out two or three wallets since my loss and find myself looking for something familiar, something that will carry me through my son's graduations, his wedding and the birth of his children. I know my new Ghurka wallet will always be there for me for all the important life events to come.