YPSILANTI, MI—Local man Kevin McCormick, 28, delivered a complete running commentary throughout a 12-minute search for the four-year-old, Velcro-fastened wallet he misplaced Sunday.
The narration began in the late afternoon, when McCormick, a part-time pet-store attendant, announced his intention to visit a local taqueria for lunch. It was then that he first audibly noticed the wallet was missing.
"Oh shit," he said. "I can't find my wallet."
McCormick then turned his attention to vocally describing the central task before him—finding the wallet in what would prove to be an exhaustive, continuous commentary on the nearly quarter-hour search.
"All right, Kev—think," he began aloud. He then scanned the loose clothing and clutter around the one-bedroom apartment.
"When was the last time you saw it?" he asked, addressing himself in the second person.
"It was either in the bar," McCormick replied, "or it was in the taxi."
"But [roommate] Mark [Borschandt] paid for the cab," he announced to no one in particular. "So it must've been the bar. I'll just call the bar."
McCormick quickly switched gears, making his way to his cell phone, last seen in the same jacket pocket where he had earlier expressed aloud a hope to find his wallet.
"With my luck, I lost my cell phone, too!" he said in an attempt to inject a degree of levity into the ongoing account.
Retrieving the phone, he announced another disappointing development to the bare white walls of his kitchen. "The bar doesn't open for another four hours, though," he reported.
McCormick summed up the day's events on the bar's answering machine and, with a renewed sense of accomplishment, once again addressed his empty apartment, adopting a more introspective style.
"Did I leave it in [coworker Nelson] Duffy's building?" he inquired, opening and closing the refrigerator door. "Because if I did, I can kiss the cash in it good-bye. Then again, that one time I dropped it on the street, I told myself the same thing, and I got every penny back," he continued, providing relevant background and context to no one but himself.
"Okay, okay. What am I looking for? It's just a little black wallet," he said in a forceful voice, and scanned the room with purpose.
After nine fruitless minutes, in which many other possible locations of the wallet were audibly considered, McCormick's narration became progressively more dramatic, rising from a flat, carefully enunciated monotone to a passionate delivery, employing such oratorical flourishes as dramatic pauses, sudden bursts of emotion, and eventually unrestrained shouting.
"My fucking driver's license is in there, my paycheck is in there," McCormick announced, reminding any potential listeners what was at stake should he fail to find the wallet.
McCormick—who previously self-narrated the May 1997 retracing of his steps to his car keys, the August 2001 installation of a new surround-sound system, and the April 2005 account of a particularly challenging math problem encountered while preparing taxes—displayed his ability to maintain a constant narration despite the growing demands of the search.
"Just talk it through, Kevin," he said, struggling to maintain a calm, measured tone. "Come on, it'll come."
"I'm such a fucking idiot! How many times can I lose that fucking thing?" he said, turning to the open living room and gesturing to the invisible confidantes within.
"So stupid!" he yelled at himself. "Think! Think!!"
The narration reached a conclusion with the proclamation by McCormick that he had been defeated.
"I give up," he said smiling, and sat Indian style on the floor in front of his television. "I guess I just won't have a wallet. I guess it just fucking disappeared. Oh well."
As of press time, McCormick had made no follow-up remarks regarding the wallet and whether it had been found.