The question of the day is: If you were my keys, where would you be? Two hours on the train back home to Brooklyn and by the time I reach the front door two important things are missing, keys and my shoes. I can explain the shoe part, keys are a mystery.
So I’m sitting in one of these sleek new bars that won’t stop popping up all over south Slope. About two weeks ago a beer garden opened over on 7th Avenue and 28th-ish street, which is acceptable, but a neighborhood only needs so many places with bronze finishings and a gourmet bar menu. This place used to be one of the three genuine dirty dives left. Now it has wifi and me since everyone with a key to my apartment seems to have skipped town.
The last time I got locked out turned into a 4-day couch crashing extravaganza. This head never saw the same pillow twice and I learned some friends have worse sleep habits than mine. This really is the city that doesn’t sleep.
So I should know better than to not have a back up to my back up. Last time I couldn’t imagine why I’d never hidden an extra copy somewhere in the city. It made sense at the time and it makes sense now. If you read A Hole in My Life, you’ll find out where in Central Park Jack Gantos buried his cut of drug money oh so many years ago. Surely I could pepper this city with a few keys and no one would be the wiser, and even if some get found it’s not like they’ll have my address on them.
The fellow at the corner bodega will keep a key beneath the counter, and my gym peeps will tuck one somewhere in the back office. But just to be safe, I’m going to string one to the fence around a certain apricot tree. Tie another to these cheap plastic sandals I bought this morning and bury them just off a dirt trail in Prospect Park. A dog will find the buried sandals eventually, but I’ll likely have cause to retrieve them first.
Plan D is to hide keys in the cracks and crevices of a few venues. Beneath dressing room counters and under the seats of broken stools or the one wobbly table in the house. These spots get cleaned on occasion, but typically by a distracted cleaning person or sleepy staff who won’t notice a taped key or two.
Plan E is weird, but it’s gonna work. I’ll strap a spare key around a grid pole with some duct tape. Theaters all have grids, but they move lights around too often. Music venues rarely move their lights. I’m not too worried about getting it up there, but it’s getting the key down that is sure to cause an awkward moment.
“Um, ‘scuse me but I think I left my keys here.”
Busy bartender: “I haven’t seen any.”
“Oh, I know where they are”
And then I hop on a chair and unstrap them from the pole. It will have to be a venue with low ceilings. These are the actions of a forgetful person tired of being locked out. The locksmith is going to start taking my calls the wrong way. How’s your Sunday?