Monday, March 2, 2020

Lost and found - 3.02 #sol20 Story Challenge

I appreciate pockets: a bag with a helpful mix of differently sized pockets gets my nod over a single, shapeless stuff sack any day. Likewise, a jacket offering outer and inner pockets, some zippered, others not, is a feature-rich garment that I'll happily don. Today, however, I was reminded how all that's pocketed is not necessarily gold.

Approaching school this morning, I reached in my backpack to fish out work keys, my hand executing the familiar journey without my eyes even looking. I felt past some pens, a thin plastic badge, a few stray paperclips, but disconcertingly never touched the ring of keys anchored by their plastic fob-lozenge. I tamped down a bubble of panic, fumbled around again. No keys in the larger compartment, I confirmed, nor in a seemingly handy sub pocket.

I retraced a mental map through Friday afternoon and evening, the last time I remembered using the keys. Maybe they're still languishing in a pants or jacket pocket, I surmised, or maybe I plopped them carelessly at home, disoriented after a day extended by student conferences. I vowed shakily to check those hypotheses when home and stumbled through the school day, relying on the utilitarian kindness of others' keys.

Once home, I pawed through pockets, checked tell-tale drop spots. Nothing. My mind cast a wider net: What if they fell out when I clambered into my wife's car Friday night? Before that search, though, I went back to my backpack. Some mental itch compelled me, perhaps. I gave the bag a shake, heard a telltale key-like jingle that I hadn't registered before. I eyed the small zippered compartment more closely. While I still didn't see my keys, I did notice a network of sewn-in plastic sleeves -- slots for pens or other small trinkets; micro-pockets, really. I dipped into the largest of these where my fingers triumphantly seized my keys.

9 comments:

  1. Too many pockets can get you in trouble! Glad you found your keys, and boy, can I relate!

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  2. I can relate. Somehow my keys always find their way to the deepest, darkest recesses of my purse, so I end up having to dump everything out to find them. I am happy you found yours!

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  3. That jangly clang of keys on a chain can be a real welcome sound when the keys have gone missing awhile!

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  4. Nice to have you back! We switched to permanently locked doors and key cards this year. Because I hate wearing the lanyard they hang on, I have developed a terrible habit of leaving my keys in the classroom. The necessitates waiting in my car the next morning for someone to arrive and let me in.

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  5. I love this slice of life! Because of course, who hasn't had this happen to them many times? Your phrases like "all that's pocketed is not necessarily gold" and "relying on the utilitarian kindness of others' keys" are priceless! Brilliant.

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  6. All those pockets...they can be a trap for the things we smile about or the things that make us crazy. So glad you found them.

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  7. "the utilitarian kindness of others' keys" - what an excellent phrase. I might just need to collect that one... Also, I literally did this same thing about two weeks ago (only with a purse, not a backpack), and your description took me right back. Yup. Pawing through pockets, listening for the jingle... this slice is full of great descriptions.

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  8. What fabulously descriptive sentences that made me laugh and wonder if you'd ever find those keys! So fun! This one is one of my favs - "I tamped down a bubble of panic, fumbled around again." Thanks for sharing!

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  9. you really built up that crescendo! a wiser parallel to my overstuffed bag scene

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