The following post contains language that may offend some readers!
11:30am, Wednesday 3 August 2011.
I stepped out of the front door of my apartment building.
An hour away was the next meeting of a technical writing networking group that I’m a member of. I was looking forward to it – the meeting’s subject was methods for planning how to write technical documentation, and it was good to get out of the (home) office for a while.
Before I got there, though, I was also planning to buy the next round of medication for my black dog, and grab some lunch to eat at the meeting. By my reckoning, I would be able to get both tasks done and still get to the meeting with time to spare.
Sounded like a good plan.
As I closed the front door behind me, I glanced at the mailboxes mounted on the walls nearby, just behind the front gate.
I usually check my mail when I get home each night, but because I was on my way out with lots of time to spare, I decided to break with routine and check my mailbox.
I opened my left jacket pocket and took out one of my two key-rings. I found the right key, opened my mailbox and grabbed the mail inside.
After I closed my mailbox and put my mail in my carry bag, I headed off to the local chemist.
It was a pleasant-looking day, and my personal timetable was getting off to a good start.
About thirty minutes later as noon approached, my personal timetable was running well.
I’d dreaded a long queue at the chemist, but fortunately there’d been no one else waiting for their medication and so I was quickly in and out of there.
Next, I’d crossed Hyde Park South without incident, and now I was only minutes away from the Woolworths supermarket on George Street in the Sydney CBD where I was planning to get my lunch.
I could give myself an unhurried 10 minutes or so at Woolies, and then spend the next few minutes heading south down George to the meeting venue.
At this rate, I could be settled in and ready for the meeting by 12:20pm, with 10 minutes to spare.
I smiled as I crossed over from Hyde Park South to the Starbucks at the corner of Elizabeth and Park Streets.
A moment later as I went past the Starbucks, my hand brushed my left jacket pocket and –
Something felt wrong.
I patted my left jacket pocket again.
Yes, the weight of its contents didn’t feel right…
I quickly opened that pocket and, one by one, took out each item and put them in my right hand.
The key-ring I’d used for opening my mailbox wasn’t there.
I patted my left jacket pocket and felt around within it again, to ensure that I hadn’t missed grabbing that key-ring.
No, I hadn’t missed it – because it wasn’t there.
What the FUCK?!?
And then I made a horrible realisation.
I knew where that key-ring most likely was.
It was still back at the entrance to my building, either hanging from my mailbox lock or lying on the tiles underneath, about a 15-minute walk behind me.
But with the visit to the chemist, 30 minutes had passed since I’d left home.
And in all that time, someone else may have already found that key-ring –
Oh, for fuck’s sake! What a completely fucking STUPID thing you’ve done!
I’d now screwed up my morning and potentially put my home in danger. Yes, two keys were needed to get into my apartment and I still had one of them on my other key-ring, but even with just the other key a clever someone who may now have it, and who may also know which apartment it was for, could still –
Fucking stupid IDIOT! You were probably thinking of something else at that moment and not paying attention to what you were doing like you should have been! Fucking FOOL!
But before my self-flagellation got out of hand, I took a deep breath and stopped cursing myself.
After all, there was only one thing to do.
I very carefully put everything back into my left jacket, zipped it shut, looked around my feet to ensure that I hadn’t dropped anything, saw that I hadn’t, turned around and began the urgent 15-minutes-or-so journey back home.
Would I be in time?
And if not – what then?
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂
Continued in this thrilling installment
I’m on tenterhooks!