The next morning, I’m ready on time to get to the first work meeting. But I can’t find my keys. Anywhere. They appear to have disappeared in my empty apartment. I run around like a madwoman as the clock ticks. I even check the freezer. Nothing. By now, I’m already going to be late for my meeting. Finally, I tell myself that as long as I take my laptop and documents with me, there’s nothing of real value that could be stolen. So I close the door and LEAVE MY NYC APARTMENT UNLOCKED. On the way out, I call and leave the super a message and tell him that he needs to change the lock ASAP (as my broker had suggested I do anyway).
I trot to the train, go to the ticket machine, and it refuses to accept my credit card. When I go to the booth to pay, she needs cash. This is the point where I realize that my morning has just gotten worse because I’VE LEFT MY WALLET IN MY UNLOCKED APARTMENT. This is a pretty close second to my first Thanksgiving weekend when I left my purse on a city bus.
So I’m in the train station with one credit card and the MTA card, no wallet, and no keys. No wallet also means I have no cash and no work or other ID. Returning to my apartment means being even more late, with no guarantee that someone will be around to let me into the building. So I somehow get the credit card to work, take the next train to my meeting, and try to focus on information about my new job. During a break, I check my phone. My super has called to say that he will lock the apartment with a spare and let me in when I return. I breathe a little easier but I’m still freaked out about the keys and what I’m going to tell the apartment’s owner if I can’t find them (not to mention the office administrator, who may already think I’m an idiot for my tardiness today).
The session goes over schedule. By the time I get back to my building, I’m sweating bullets. The super doesn’t answer the buzzer but someone else lets me in. I go down to the office and he’s there. He gives me the spare and brings up more boxes. As soon as he leaves, I restart my search–bathroom, kitchen cabinets, boxes that I opened yesterday, the suitcase, library books, purses, even under the air mattress. I finally sit by the duffel and start taking out individual pieces of clothing. And there, under a balled T-shirt, is the bunch of keys. For the first time in 7 hours, I can take a full breath. I don’t know how the keys got there, but they’re now living in a bowl by the door. Clearly I can’t be trusted with them around my home.
Now I have to prepare to start my job in less than two weeks but it’s funny how most things seem easy when you have the means to secure your residence, plus all your identification and cash, and your credit cards have not been stolen. It’s all about perspective…