The Canyon of Lost Keys


I already knew what I was doing wasn’t a smart thing to do but sometimes “smart” gets superseded by “gotta get some”. I was going to his house to fool around with my ex that night and, not surprisingly, it got weird.

Not in the way that you may think. This site isn’t full of porn, it’s full of awkward.

Instead of a night of lusty, hard-earned shame, we got into a huge fight about something ridiculous and I stormed out. I’d been drinking though and, since I’m only self-destructive and not an asshole, I was going to go sleep it off in my car.

I’d show him, the jerk.

It was unusually cold that week; record cold for San Diego. I won’t say how cold it was, just that it was “hoodie” weather. San Diegans just don’t have the supplies to deal with actual cold so the rest of you can relax, you win. After about ten minutes in my car, hoodie-d up and shivering, I got a text that simply said, “Come inside. It’s warm.” My resolve had already left me five minutes before receiving the text and I already had been thinking of ways to make it seem like my coming inside was doing him a favor.

So, I was inside and in bed in 30 seconds flat. I was stoically reluctant about it, though, just in case he thought he’d won the argument or something.

With morning comes the shame but this time only because I acted like an idiot. I desperately wanted to get out of there and go home; shower, get warm, start over. Maybe phone in an apology later. It was the least I could do and the least I was up for. So, I braced against the morning mist and ran to my car.

The door was locked. That’s not unusual. I obsessively lock my car doors even though there’s nothing in it to steal and most of the parts are made of 7-up cans and duct tape. One time, I found that someone had been in it unauthorized. Nothing was missing and they’d left it cleaner than it was before. I’ve thought about leaving it wide open again and leaving a tip but my obsessive locking behavior I’d developed was still dominate from when I had a much nicer, fancier car.


The problem was that my purse was sitting in the front seat. Now, that was unusual. I am also obsessive about my purse. Again, nothing in it to steal, but for some reason whenever I don’t carry with me everything I own, I suddenly need the one thing I don’t have.

“What do you mean you don’t have your Sea World pass from 1982? You need it to get in the –insert super exciting, exclusive event-! Everyone else has theirs!”

Apparently, not this time because there it was taking up the passenger seat like it owned it, smugly ignoring my pleas to open the door.

Luckily, I had my phone in my jacket pocket… and the number to 411 in my contacts. I called AAA through 411. I guess I just wanted to splurge a little on a $1.50 text as a treat seeing as I had AAA’s number in my phone, too.  45 minutes later, AAA arrives and jimmies my door. Only after the tow truck driver leaves angrily, probably from me trying to tip him with a hair clip, did I realize that I didn’t have any pants on. I looked down to notice I was wearing only a long, extra-large hoodie, flip flops, and a beanie…no pants.

Whatever, there was time to ruminate over that once I found my keys.

I stopped fishing through my purse and just dumped the contents onto the floor of my car. Panicked and dreading having to hang my head to go back inside but I was out of choices. And…where are my fucking pants? What is the standard amount of time it takes to notice you don’t have pants on? Seriously. I’m asking. Is it possible that I’ve gone pants-less without noticing before?

I snuck around the ex’s house for an hour; crashing into things, swearing, my eyes tearing up a little. Thankfully, I did finally find my pants and…my keys!!

My victory dance was short-lived when I noticed there was no car key on the ring. I vaguely recognized something in the corner of my brain about my key breaking off the ring lately and my need to do something about it; it could be a bad thing should it get lost.  Then, I remembered -sigh- having that conversation, out loud and on purpose, not more than twelve hours before.

I’m crushed and go to wake up the ex.  I don’t know what else to do if I can’t afford to take a cab twenty miles home and back again with the spare. My ex’s car is falling apart even worse than mine and wouldn’t make the trip. I don’t know anyone I could call in my neighborhood who had a copy of my home key to get into my house, find the spare, and then be willing to drive up twenty miles to fetch me. I could call my family but, again, I’m not supposed to be where I was. The ex and my break-up was terrible and “we” are not looked upon favorably. Besides, no matter what, a parent should never have to rescue their middle-aged child from this sort of dubious decision. They don’t need that mental image and I’d quicker call them to help me hide a body.

They would’ve done it, reluctantly, and I tossed it around for a second. I couldn’t stomach the silent, century-long car ride I would have to share with them if they came and I’d rather walk. I considered calling Toyota and having them come re-key my car. At least they were close and I didn’t care what it cost. I just wanted to go home.

To his credit, the ex woke up sweetly and helped me turn the house upside-down looking for the wayward key.

Another hour later, I’m wondering what made me I think I could afford a re-key but not a cab when Ex jokes, “Wow, it’s not anywhere in the house. Did you check your orifices?”

I laughed and inexplicably, oddly reflexively, touched my boob.

If you don’t know me in real life, you may not know that I’m…well-blessed. There is not a lot of empty space in my bras so I’ve never been in the habit of stashing keys, money, credit cards, or small companion animals there.  It wouldn’t make any sense that I would choose to do it last night either but, touching my unusually fabulous, younger-than-their-years-firm, not-at-all-back-breaking or cursed, breast I feel something foreign and oddly key-shaped.

I had run around frantically all morning, bending, sweating, and twisting. I had slept all night, flopping around on alternating sides as I always do trying to get comfortable. I had managed to take off my pants to go to bed but not my bra. All this time with a huge, long, broken, and therefore pokey, truck key stuck into my left boob.

Ex and his roommate thought it was hilarious. I’m sure I would’ve too if it wasn’t me. Ex even offered me breakfast showing real sympathy, when he could stop laughing, but I couldn’t stay. I needed to go home, clean up, and check my entire body head-to-toe in case I’m now in the habit of stashing things on my literal person without knowing it.

I got home in my own car, grateful that I had it and not the experience of finding the key clink hours later onto the bathroom floor. That would’ve been tragic. This was merely pathetic, embarrassing. Ridiculous.

I’ll get over it eventually. It’s the kind of embarrassment I will work through gradually with a lot of positive affirmations, gratitude and therapy.

And, apparently, telling all of you.