this morning when i left to go run i couldn't find my keys so i grabbed the spare (the one on the sandal-shaped keychain Merry gave me last year which says "I heart Chad"). when i got in the car, i saw i'd left the keys sitting on the floor with the door unlocked all night. the car wasn't stolen. that was a freebie. it got broken into only two weeks ago.
i drove to the nature center and when i got there, tucked my spare key under the passenger seat. i thought, "i better remember to take that out of there. it would suck locking my only spare in the car." i started running.
i have three or four places i hide my keys when i run. in a hollow stump, the crotch of a tree, under a log, are a few of my habitual places. today i decided to try a new place. i always get suspicious that other morning walkers and runners are watching to see where I hide them. so i rotate. like the changing passwords on a bank vault. because everybody wants my filthy toyota scion with the rear latch hanging off the back and the banged up hubcaps.
i jogged into the picnic area, around to the left of the garbage can, and put them down next to my sunglasses, both slightly covered by some brush.
i had a good run.
when i got back i couldn't find my keys. at first i didn't panic, i'm used to this after all. (i won't bother to link to it because i'm tired but i wrote another post recently about getting lost in a parking garage(s)). but after a few minutes the panic did begin. elizabeth's brother and sister-in-law were back at the house with the kids, and i said i'd be back by 7:45. it was now 8.
the kids have a summer camp they've been going to while i have to work and i was supposed to take them there at 8. then go to school for a two-hour class. then drive to my job, where i was supposed to be at 1. because i have a very hands-on type of manager with high expectations, because i'm part time and my hours are scrutinized, and also because i feel like i've been fucking up a lot lately, which i seem to instigate simply by breathing, i was panicking about having to call in sick because i lost my fucking keys.
i'm ripping up the brush, pulling out dead limbs and dragging my nails in the dirt. the keys should be right here. or here. or maybe it was here.
i start my version of weeping. i fall on my knees. please, please, where are my keys? in between the keening groans of a hollowed out fool of a man i note that this was a stupid rhyme. finally i realize i just have to give up. i debate running home, but that would take me 15 minutes and only if i ran very fast. i try calling elizabeth four times to see if she has her brother's cell #. she doesn't pick up, but i know she doesn't have the number anyway.
i saw a nice older man and asked him with some shame if he would give me a ride. he did. very nice man. turns out he walks there every morning. named mike.
stephanie, elizabeth's sister-in-law, drove me back to the nature trail and spent 20 minutes with me poking around in the brush. she was so thorough and careful and concerned about it. i owe her. another jogger stopped over and tried to help.
finally i said we should give up again. stephanie drove me home, then drove me and the kids to their camp. i walked two blocks to a coffee shop and worked for two hours. in between i called the car dealership and a locksmith. both didn't seem like great options for time or $. (i wanted the car for tomorrow. i'm taking the day to hang out with the kids). finally i called my ex. could she take ambrose to soccer tonight? i lost my keys. turns out, she still had a set.
so i have keys and everything worked out. i had to skip my class, which i hate to do, but it let me get three more hours' work done which means more $. more importantly it means i've taken one level out of the huge, unwieldy to-do list of work tasks stacking up in my head. the height of which has been keeping me up at night with churning guts.
my arms hurt. they are covered with scratches. oh yeah, on the bus ride home i saw a clown arguing with a street preacher downtown.
broken windows, lost keys, i keep chanting this zen koan to myself: what's good and what's bad? what's good and what's bad? what's good and what's bad? the answer is everything.