I was pulling papers out of an old binder to prepare for a class I am taking starting tomorrow night, and I came across this story that I started about two years ago. It’s just the start of a random story, so don’t expect too much, but at least it will brush off some of the dust that has settled on this blog. I haven’t done any proofreading, so it’s a bit rough as well.
Like most mornings, I had smacked the snooze button of my alarm clock a few times before forcing myself out of the warm bed. Zombie mode had taken over as I completed the ritualized morning routine. I ate my cereal, skimming through a car magazine, trying to imagine owning the latest supercar. I neglected thinking about the inability to drive the car to my apartment’s designated parking space due to the extra large speed bumps and instead focused on accelerating to three times the speed limit faster than my car could get onto the highway. Being a fantasy, the cops were actually pulling over drivers for cutting people off rather than speeding, and people actually stayed out of the fast lane instead of being three cars wide with only a one-mile-per-hour difference.
I chuckled at the lack of realism and took my now-empty bowl to the sink. Glancing at the oven’s clock, I saw that I was actually a few minutes ahead of schedule.
I brushed my teeth in the bathroom and narrowly missed spitting the used toothpaste on my hand. It was early; I was still mostly asleep.
I lightly sprayed some cheap cologne on myself. The smell was too weak for me to notice, but I had learned the important life lesson “If you can smell your own cologne, it’s too strong” long ago.
Glancing at the mirror, I saw that my hair was still there, so I made my way toward the front door. I threw on my light jacket, ignoring the impending rain predicted by the news channel’s professional weather guesser. My wallet went into one pocket, and my under-used cellphone went into the other. From the counter, I grabbed my keys—no, the keys weren’t there. Why weren’t the keys there?
I checked my pockets and found the phone, the wallet, and a small ball of lint, but no keys. I checked under yesterday’s junk mail that still sat unopened on the counter. Nothing.
My brain, now just awake enough to be a threat to a five-year-old at tac-tac-toe, suggested checking the couch. Unfortunately, I didn’t even find spare change under the cushions. Another glance at the clock, and my semi-awake brain created the image of a cheap hourglass from a board game dropping the last few bits of sand.
The bus would be down the street in five minutes, so I rushed about fast enough to put a headless chicken to shame. Thought: maybe they were in my pants from yesterday. If this were Family Feud, my team would be saying, “Good answer; good answer.” And then the buzzer would sound loudly, flatly denying my guess. The pockets of yesterday were even devoid of lint.
My time was up. I had to rush out and just not lock the apartment door. The quest to find my keys would continue tonight, provided no burglar took the opportunity to relieve me of my worldly possessions, eliminating the need to find the keys. I charged out the door, swinging it shut without looking back.
The door slammed, and then it made a sound like someone had just bombarded it with a half-dozen pennies. Curiosity beat my sense of urgency, and I turned to see the origin of the sound.
Dangling from the deadbolt lock were my keys, still there from last night. They sparked two thoughts: Damn, I’m an idiot, and chicken sounds good for dinner tonight.