Are You the Key Master?

Today as I gathered up my things to leave work, I glanced at my keychain and noticed suddenly:

my car key was not there.

This presented a problem as I had driven to work, needed to drive home to feed Arden and go to a meeting, and was facing either a 30 minute commute or a 65 minute Metro ride. I barely had time for the former.

I did what you’re supposed to do: I retraced steps, checked under things, felt up my pockets until they blushed. Then, I did the odd/unthinkable: went right to my car and tried to open the door.

It swung open. That morning when I took my key out of the ignition, I noticed my gym lock key sitting on the floor mat, but I just picked it up and put it back on, not noticing at the time my car key was also missing from the ring.

Because it was sitting there on the center console, all bare and stealable. And me with unlocked doors. Oh, how the gods smiled upon me today and saved my little xAnder (my Scion’s Buffy-inspired name).

It reminded me of the only other time I’ve lost my car key. (There is another time an ex-boyfriend dropped my car key in the Salt River, but that’s a story for another time when there are margaritas handy.) I woke up in Phoenix one morning and decided I wanted to go to the Circle K across the street from my complex.

But since it was Phoenix, I had to drive there.

You should know I’m the kind of person who never leaves the house without:
> Showering
> Deodorizing
> Doing the hair
> Putting on clean clothes

That day was a notable exception. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth! I threw on a scuzzy hat, a tank top, and yes, even a pair of gym shorts (unspeakable!) and tooted on over to the Circle K. I was already so wrapped up in what kind of Frappuccino I’d get that I didn’t notice myself lock the car, get out, and start to close the door. What snapped me from my reverie was the anomaly of hearing my radio play as the door closed. The air conditioning on full blast. The shy hum of the engine as it idled. And the sharp click of the door locking.

I spun out. Internally. But then I went in and bought my coffee, got change for the payphone, and called a locksmith.

Four hours, they said. Probably someone would be there by then. I died a little. Four hours, in public, in gym shorts! And flip flops. And a tank top. I might as well pole dance on the corner while I was at it.

The thought did cross my mind, followed quickly by another: Beau had spare keys to my place. Beau was working. So, I did what any sane person would do.

I willed myself to remember Beau’s cell phone number, which I don’t even know how I did since I don’t know any phone numbers that don’t belong to me.

And then I called him. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again, hanging up each time before his voice mail kicked in.

After approximately 300 calls he answered. “WHAT DO YOU WANT????”

I calmly explained that I was in an emergency situation involving gym shorts and a locked and running car and needed him to come home, get my spare car key from my apartment, and then unlock my car.

All of which he did in under 15 minutes. Because he is amazing. And he wasn’t even annoyed with me after. He has the memory of a goldfish, I think sometimes. But God bless him for it.

Miranda July is my homegirl. (excerpt from "Roy Spivey" in the New Yorker)

“My people are going to be waiting for me out there, so I won’t be able to say goodbye properly.”

“I know. That’s all right.”

“No, it really isn’t. It’s a travesty.”

“But I understand.”

“OK, here’s what I’m going to do. Just before I leave the airport, I’m going to come up to you and say, Do you work here?

“It’s OK. I really do understand.”

“No, this is important to me. I’ll say, Do you work here? And then you say your part.”

“What’s my part?”

“You say, No.

“OK.”

“And I’ll know what you mean. We’ll know the secret meaning.”

“OK.”

We looked into each other’s eyes in a way that said that nothing else mattered as much as us. I asked myself if I would kill my parents to save his life, a question I had been posing since I was fifteen. The answer always used to be yes. But in time all those boys had faded away and my parents were still there. I was now less and less willing to kill them for anyone; in fact, I worried for their health. In this case, however, I had to say yes. Yes I would.