Mental insanity is no laughing matter. Neither is drug addiction. Nor is losing your keys. And yet, when you combine two, possibly three, of those things together, I think you’ll find that they make for quite an amusing story. But I’ll let you guys be the judge of that. Here is my story of getting in all sorts of trouble in a dangerous area that I like to call home. Enjoy!
My troubles began when I was jogging. Or rather, when I had just finished jogging. For that was when I discovered that the keys that I had put in my mailbox at the beginning of my jog were no longer there. To say this was disconcerting would be putting it mildly. You see, as I eluded to above, I live in a bad neighborhood, the kind of neighborhood where many of its residents would be deeply interested in someone else’s apartment and car keys.
Now you might be wondering at this point why I would leave keys in my mailbox if I live in a bad neighborhood. To that I ask you, have you ever ran with keys in your pocket? It’s very annoying. They weigh you down and brush up against your leg. Ugh. Why go through all that when you can just take a huge risk that could totally fuck up your life?
Anyway, once I realized my predicament, my first hope was that my roommate had come home early from work, checked the mailbox, found the keys, and took them inside with him. But this hope was dashed when I scanned the area and realized his car was nowhere in sight.
Around this time, I could feel the strong sensation of panic crawling around in my belly.
No, I said to myself. You will not panic. You must remain logical. Your keys are missing. That sucks. But be logical about it. Start by inspecting the area.
So I did. My inspection involved checking my mailbox again, then looking at the gravely ground directly below it. While I did find a good deal of broken glass and various litter amidst the gravel, I found no keys. Then I checked my mailbox once again, and then five more times after that. But still, I found no keys.
I could feel the tips of panic tickling my belly again.
Knock it off! Remain logical. Finish your investigation. Look around for witnesses, perhaps someone saw something.
But witnesses were in short supply. To the left of me was an empty street decorated with potholes and the occasional stray cat. To the right of me was the filthy intersection just in front of my apartment building. At first it appeared this intersection was empty too, until I noticed a figure that appeared to be female standing in the near corner, facing away from me.
That’s a potential witness. Go to her.
I began to do just that, when I noticed something that gave me pause. This person appeared to be swaying from side to side, as if listening to music. But I was close enough to see that she had no earphones in. Remember, I live in a bad neighborhood, so this kind of odd behavior could mean a lot of things.
What choice do you have? Do you want to be a keyless son of a bitch for the rest of your days? It’s time to take action! Go to her!
“Excuse me.” I called out to her in a genial but determined tone. She did not respond to this. She just continued to sway, as if lost in her non-existent music. I took a few steps closer and repeated myself.
This time she did react, but not in the way I had hoped. She pivoted away from me, literally giving me the cold shoulder.
Ooh, she doesn’t want to talk to you. That’s suspicious. Get the truth from her!
“Excuse me!” I said again, this time while courageously tapping her on the shoulder. “ I had some keys in that mailbox and-“
But that’s as far as I got. Because she suddenly whipped around and stared down at me with eyes that haunt me to this day. They were wide, fiery eyes that burned hate into my skull.
“FUCK YOU!” She roared. “YOU KICKED MY DOG DOWN!!”
Now of all the responses I had anticipated at this moment, being accused of kicking her pet was near the very bottom of the list. I mean, I have never kicked a dog ever, why would she say that?
“YOU KICKED MY DOG DOWN, YOU MOTHERFUCKER!” She repeated with hot anger, this time taking a step towards me.
At this point, that panic that I had been trying to keep down in my stomach was now clawing it’s way to my heart.
Stay strong. Clearly this lady is crazy and hates you for what you did to her imaginary dog, but at least we have a motive for the crime now. Get the truth from her!
“Listen, all I want-“
“YOU KICKED MY DOG DOWN AND CUT THE WIRE!” She said again, this time adding more details to my alleged crime, suggesting that not only did I kick her dog down but that I then cut its wire.
What the hell is a dog’s wire? Is that a thing? Be careful she might stab you…
“Look…” I said, trying my best not to stammer. “If you took my keys just give them back, and we’ll forget the whole thing?” Yes, good, let her plea bargain.
“I’M GONNA CALL THE COPS!! YOU GONNA BE IN JAIL TONIGHT!!!”
Here’s a fun fact, I live about two blocks away from the city jail, and it was actually in my line of sight as I was talking with this woman. I couldn’t help but stare at the jail and imagining myself inside it, explaining to the other inmates that I was in there for cutting a dog’s wire. What would they have made of that, I wonder?
YOU MOTHERFUCKER! I-“
“Look!” I finally erupted. “I don’t have to take this! I’m done with you! Forever! Goodbye!” And then I walked away in a huff, thankfully she did not follow.
Wait, you’re leaving? Where are you going to go? You have no phone, no keys, no wallet, and you don’t know anyone in the area. And you have work in less than an hour.
I stopped walking at this point. Shit. I was screwed. What the hell was I gonna do?
As I pondered my next action, I heard the vile thief shout from behind me:
“KEEP WALKING YOU MOSQUITO LOOKING MOTHERFUCKER!”
Now I’m sure if somebody told me I looked like a misquito today, it wouldn’t affect me much. But after everything I had just been through, losing my keys, getting accused of being an animal abuser, and just generally feeling like I was going crazy, the last thing I needed to hear was that I resembled a misquito. And so, I kinda lost it.
“I DO NOT LOOK LIKE A MOSQUITO! YOU’RE JUST A CRAZY BITCH! AND I KNOW YOU TOOK MY KEYS!”
And here we come to the point in the story where I participated in one of the most inane debates in the history of the world. In this debate, I argued my two points ferociously. The first being that I don’t look like a mosquito, and the second being that she took my keys. And of course, she argued her two main points as well, the first being that I do look like a mosquito, and the second being that I kicked her dog down and cut the wire.
I stayed in this seventh ring of nonsensical hell for far too long, feeling more crazy and desperate with each passing moment. But then, just as things looked its darkest, I saw my apartment door open and my roommate pop out.
Run to him. Run to him and be normal again.
And so I did.
Once inside the apartment, my roommate handed me my keys that he had found in the mailbox and pressed me to explain what on earth had happened outside. But I was far too busy on my laptop, google image searching mosquitoes. Sometimes you just have to be sure about these things. And after an extensive investigation, I am happy to report that I definitely do not look like a mosquito. Case closed!
POST SCRIPT TO STORY
A few days later, I regaled my upstairs neighbor with this story. After I had told her the whole thing, we had the following conversation:
Her: Oh man, that’s why you don’t argue with a crackhead.
Me: Yeah, I suspected she was on drugs too.
Her: No, I know for a fact she was on crack. Her sister came and told me. They both live down the street. Apparently she has crack problem and relapsed recently. Her sister says it’s just better not to talk to her when she’s on that shit.
Me: Oh. Huh. Well, I still wonder what the hell she meant when she accused me of kicking her dog down and cutting the wire.
Her: Are you sure she wasn’t saying door, not dog, and you just misheard her?
Me: I don’t know… maybe. But that still doesn’t make any sense.
Her: Well, it kinda does, because, do you know Danny, that boy with the sleeve tattoos that I sleep with sometimes?
Her: Well, he let her borrow twenty bucks a week ago, and she never paid him back. So he broke down her door when she was gone and cut the wire to her cable.
Her: Anyway, you really shouldn’t be leaving your keys in the mailbox anyway, this is a bad neighborhood, ya know.
Me: Yeah. I know….