My phone rang, a Lexington number, and I prepared my, “Sorry, we moved five years ago but never changed the cells” spiel.
“Ms. Powell?” The woman’s voice was hesitating, as if she were surprised I had answered.
“Ye-ess?” I have no more professional connections in Kentucky. Friends, yes. Strangers who think my last name is Merriman and want to sell me life insurance? Yes. But people who call me by my own last name and yet somehow know better than to say “Mrs.”? None.
“This is Tessa from Central bank in …”
And I knew. The safe deposit box. We’ve tripped over those fucking keys for five years and not sent them back. Actually, that’s not true. It’s more that we’ll be cleaning out one or another of our hoarder cells and come across them. “Shit. Gotta return those,” we’ll say. And we all know which road is paved with those intentions.
So I hung up with Tessa and called Scott. “I think I know where they are,” he said.
“Thank God. Because they’re about ready to drill into the vault.”
Only he didn’t. And I woke up in a manic sweat at 2AM, frantic with the thought that we have merely misplaced something that is going to cost us a fuck-ton of money. This is the kind of thing that drives me batshit crazy. We are so damned scattered, so completely incapable of establishing even basic organizational schemes, that we lose shit all the time. Important shit. Expensive shit. Like lockbox keys.
I tore through the ‘mail center’ our quaint name for the particular disaster where we store stamps and the like. This was the most likely place to have lost it, because the mail center, being located just inside the door, collects whatever shit we’re carrying as we walk in. One trash bag and two “This is Not My Fucking Problem, Baby; You Fucking Deal With It” bags later, I still have not found the lockbox keys.
But I have located every single lost greeting card I meant to send in the last five years. And all of the kids’ missing crayons. A dozen envelopes I bet we thought we used. Stamps with denominations ranging from thirty three or four cents (with Porky Pig on them, in case you wondered) to four dollars and sixty cents (those feature Airforce One). A complete set of fingerpaints. With refills. Our car insurance policies for the last six years. (If you do your math, that means I found one from Lexington.) The lockbox keys for our current safe deposit box. Just not the thing I wanted most.
So now, I want it over. I tried to call Tessa to tell her that they would have to send me the bill. But the phone at the other end rang and rang. It seems you can’t leave messages in the wee hours at the bank.
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.