Day 24: Lviv – The Trial

by Zack on August 27, 2010

Today, we were tested.

All that good stuff about the prison, and us possibly finding a monumental piece of Joseph’s past may have been trivialized by an early morning realization.

Where the fuck is the flash card with all the video from the prison!?

Is it in my pants? It should be in my pants. I distinctly remember changing cards after the prison, and putting it into its container and in my 5th pocket, where it fits nice and snugly.

It’s not in my pants.

Is it in the camera bag? I don’t remember putting it in the camera bag, but yesterday was hectic and there was a lot of traveling and maybe I just put it in there to be safe while getting something else out of the bag.

It’s not in the camera bag.

Is it in my messenger bag? I definitely didn’t put it in my messenger bag, because I didn’t have access to it, but maybe it ended up there because I am running out of places to look.

It’s not in my messenger bag.

Mike’s pants? On the floor? Mike’s bag, my bag, under the bed, in my book (?), back in my pants, back in the camera bag?

No, no, no, no, no, of course not, still no, still no.

I’m a profane person. You can no doubt imagine the sounds emitting from my mouth. No one else in the entire city of Lviv had to imagine. They no doubt heard it.

OK. Two scenarios:

It fell out of my pocket in our driver’s car. Or I dropped it making the exchange to my pocket and it is on a random street in Volodymyr-Volynskyi, 130km away.

Horribly depressed, Mike and I sluggishly mope to the phone store. Buy a new card, and call our driver Konstantine (who we’ve nicknamed Kostello).

Kostello was the best possible driver we could have had. 24, recently graduated from a Lviv University with a degree in economics that is nowhere near being put to profitable use in Ukraine’s still-deep economic crisis, Kostello had some free time, a car and a connection who thought he’d like a trip and some money.

He accepted, and as a friendly and down-to-earth guy with just-enough English we got along splendidly. We even had plans to hang out with him back in Lviv tonight.

So we call the Kos. We wake him up. We explain we had left something in the car, and he agrees to meet us. But not until 2:00.

Great, 3 hours to mope around Lviv, wondering if we’ll have to finagle a way back up to Volodymyr-Volynskyi tomorrow, losing the excitement of shooting such a revealing moment as it unfolds.

When we meet Kostello we explain that it was a memory card and that we perhaps may have lost all the footage from yesterday. His face registers a sympathetic “you jackass.”

At the car, we tear up the floor mats. Check every nook and cranny. Nothing. We check the trunk. Nothing. Then, I see a Ukrainian flag left over in the car from Independence Day poking up from under the trunk covering that bridges the trunk to the under-seat area.

I tear the covering up and there, under the floorboards of the backseat I see the most miraculous sight of this long journey. A red and rectangular label with a large, black-sharpied “A” stares back at me.

“You sweet magnificent bastard,” I shout to the heavens.

Mike, from the other side of the car, recognizes my tone and lets out an overly-audible “YES!”

As if ordained by some higher power, we …

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