For the last few weeks, I have been in a tizzy. More than usual. I am not sure why. Lots going on, but that in itself is not unusual. I am a million years older than I used to be, so that could be a factor, except, the series of things that have been happening are familiar…going into a room and forgetting what the hell for, asking the cats, but they don’t know either and so are of no help, none of this is new. Putting things down and then not finding them until they’re good and ready to be found, something I call “Reverse Kleptomania,” also par for the course for years.
But today kind of takes the cake. I put together a handful of stuff to toss into the trash, grabbing my keys on the way out. I live in a condo, so this is standard procedure. We toss the regular trash down a chute in a special little room off the laundry on each floor. But I also had recycling stuff, so I would need to go down to the garage, as that type of trash goes into special containers. For security, we have to have our keys to open the elevator on the lower level.
So far, so good. I’ve got everything held in such a way as to keep the keys and toss the trash. Carefully, I keep the keys in one hand as I toss some of the regular trash with the other, keeping the recycling tucked under one arm. Then, I carefully toss the other trash down the chute. Voila! Great work. Except, OMG, I’m not holding the keys. Did I toss them in with the second bunch of gar-bahge? Oh, no! I did, I did. Arrrgggghhhhh. How could I forget I was holding them?
OK, OK. I know I’m a sieve head. So what to do? As I run back to the apartment to pick up an extra set of keys, thoughts come flying through my brain. Yick. I’m going to have to reach into the smelly mess of gunk. I just hope I can get to it without having to dive in. I remember that there’s been a ladder in the garage the past few days, for some ongoing repairs. I hold onto the ray of hope that it’s still there. When I get to my apartment, I decide to grab the broom, in hopes it will help me ensnare the keys without having to dumpster dive. I run back to the elevator and keep hoping the ladder is still there. Wow! It is. My luck expands. There is also a neighbor there who sees my expression, and asks, “What happened?” When I tell him, he says, “You know, you could always call a locksmith. It’s $70.”
" Well, yeah, but those are my car keys, and a replacement costs $100 and has to be special ordered...it'll take days, and it’s the only one I have.”
“No problem. I’ll help you,” he says with a nod. He carries the ladder over while I prop open the door to the dreaded dumpster. Oy, the odor.
My valiant savior climbs up to the top of the ladder. “You can’t see a bloody thing in here. We need a torch. Do you have a torch?”
Yeah, I remember, he grew up in England. “I do, but of course hadn’t thought to bring it down.”
“You really can’t see any thing. Can you get the torch?”
“Sure. I’ll be right back.”
“No worries. I’ll wait for you.”
Leaving the broom by the door, I turn to go. “Thanks so much!!!!”
I race to my apartment, get the only flashlight I have, which throws out a very small light, race back down, hoping it will do. When I get back to the fragrant dumpster, I hand the light to my friend.
“What is this? You can’t see anything with this…Wait…I see them….hold on….”
He reaches over, without the aid of the broom, swoops down and comes back up, keys in hand.
I ask, afraid to hear the answer, “Did they land on a dry spot?”
“They’re cool. No problem. You’re very lucky.”
He hands me the perfectly dry, perfectly clean, non-aromatic keys. I threw my arms around him, giving him a huge hug. “I can’t thank you enough!”
“No problem. Have a great day! Don’t worry about the ladder. I’ll put it back.”
Feeling saved once again in life, I happily return home.
Am I really getting soft in the head with age, my biggest fear in life? Well, mayhap. But I also remember what my mother once told me. “You drop things because you forget you’re holding them.” I was 8.