Creeping down Shelburne road in my fancy BMW, must’ve been 2 or 2:30 in the morning, music blasting, I was lucky to have made it home without being stopped. That three mile stretch home from Franny’s I could do with my eyes closed. The next thing I remember was my keys flying out of my hand. “GodDAMN it,” I bitched. It was then I noticed the blackness of the night – no moon, not a star in the sky, I felt like a bird in a cage under a sheet at night. OK, I try to focus my spinning brain ~ I’ll have a cigarette and cool down. “Jesus Christ,” I thought to myself; “where is my lighter?” Fumbling in my pockets, I come up with nothing. It must be in the car.
It was a beautiful night, and my keys couldn’t be too far. I stumble to my car – “SHIT,” it’s locked. Now I’m fuming; no cigarette, no lighter. I decide to crawl on my belly; arms outstretched doing the “snow-angel.” No keys. I begin at the car reaching as far as I could to either side of me, inching slowly up the trail of the missing keys. The keys couldn’t have just disappeared; I heard them hit the ground. They are heavy keys complete with a bronze medallion of sorts with the Serenity Prayer some shrink gave me years ago. I should be able to find them.
Slithering on my belly, my fingers clawing into the grass for what seemed like hours -- nothing. Desperation was beginning to well inside and I began to feel panicked. My husband wasn’t home (thank God), which was precisely the reason I had felt privileged to close the bar.
But what the fuck was I going to do? Scratching and groveling in the wet grass, lighter- and cigarette-less, I cursed. Myself first, for being so drunk; my inability to figure out why I didn’t have – and couldn’t find – my keys. Then God for making it so dark, then myself again for taking me to the limit of my alcohol consumption – again. And again. And again. Then myself again for being me.
So I reasoned, with whatever neurons were still actively connecting, that I could stand up, (that is if I were able), find the porch railing and, holding on, steady myself enough to make it onto the deck, where there was a chair I could sleep in.
The next thing I knew the birds began to chirp and I perceived a piercing lightness through my eyelids, afraid to open them. When I did, I went to the edge of the porch and, there, within a foot of where my arms must’ve reached, were my keys, gleaming in the sunrise.
That’s when I knew I’d crossed the line.