Friday, April 11, 2008

"You don't know. There could have been a fast moving key bandit."

The phone call came when I was on the 6 train, caller ID showing that it was Ms. K.

"Hey, I'm on the subway," I shouted over the din, waiting for the inevitable lost connection. "What's up?"

"I'm locked out!"


Then I lost the call since getting cell phone service on the subway is kind of a fluke and when you do it only lasts for 12.5 seconds. I hopped off the train at 28th Street and checked my phone, seeing that I had like 6 missed calls from Ms. K. When I got above ground, I called her back.

"I'm locked out," she reiterated. "I can't find my keys."

"Shit," I said as a wave of irritation came over me. Ms. K has a propensity for losing important things -- glasses, check books, wallets -- and I figured it was only a matter of time before I could add my spare set of keys to the list.

"I'm really really sorry. I thought I had them in my coat pocket when I went to smoke a cigarette," she said.

I gave a long sigh as I realized that I would have to call my boss and tell her that I was going to be late and then go all the way back to Brooklyn to give her my set of keys. Shit.

After the whole song and dance of going back home and the doubling my commute, we talked on and off all day about her progress on finding the keys. I asked the obvious questions. Where did you see them last? When did you use them last? I was getting more and more annoyed since it was going to be a production to get her new keys.

We narrowed the hunt down to a 40 minute time frame that morning when she knew she had the keys after she came back from moving the car.

Are the keys in the car?

Are they on the nightstand?

Did you accidentally drop them on the stairs?

Did they fall into the couch?

How could you be so careless??

Where the fuck are the fucking keys??

"Honey, I still cannot find them," she wrote over email after she tore apart the apartment. "I am beginning to think that they are not in the apartment."

"They HAVE to be in the apartment."

"One would think. But they are not here. Unless I left them in the front door and a key bandit stole them."

"If there was a key bandit then they moved fast because the time from when you came back from moving the car and Libby leaving for work was 10 minutes tops. Ergo they have to be in the house."

"You don't know. There could have been a fast moving key bandit."


Ms. K tore apart the house for a second time and I considered phoning up MIT to tell them that a black hole had appeared in a brownstone in Brooklyn. Then I decided to use my magic powers to find them. I closed my eyes, cleared my mind, and tried to envision where the keys were. The sense that I got was that they were someplace stupid. It was as if I could feel their weight in my hand, as if I could reach out and touch them they were so close.

Although I was at the office, I turned around and looked at my purse, wondering if I absently threw them in there by mistake. A cursory look revealed the usual purse contents, but the keys were still missing.

Sigh. This was a big problem.

When I got home that evening, we tore apart the apartment for a third time, getting on our hands and knees with a flashlight.

"I really think they are gone," Ms. K said as we canceled our search in defeat. By then I was sitting on the floor in the middle of my bedroom resigned to the fact that I was going to have to let my landlord know that the key bandit had access to the house.

My purse and my jacket happened to be in arms length and I figured it was worth another search of my purse. Again, no keys. Then I reached for my jacket and felt the pockets.

Uh oh.

The keys were in my jacket the whole time. I really could have reached out and touched them when I was at work. We stared at each other with elation and relief.

"I'm sorry I accidentally took your keys and then blamed it on your carelessness," I muttered.

Mea culpa accepted.


Anonymous said...

oh, baby.

EnnuiHerself said...

By any chance, is *my* missing set of keys in your pocket?

Mouthy said...


it takes a strong woman to admit when she's wrong, especially in front of an audience.

i love you. and your blog.