I excused myself early on account of being tired, hungry and cold. Goodbyes are the worst. Not in the airport-tears, forever way but in the leaving-a-party way. Often, i find myself amongst the last stragglers at a party because it is too difficult for me to get up and make the goodbye rounds. Ideally I would like to slip out and text a couple of friends afterwards: lol ok i left already ttyl.
Instead, my texts from last night read in an obnoxious and typo-ridden way, like I’m drunk. though i’m not really; it just suits me to not have to go back and correct my errors when i am running home:
NAH I RAN.HOME (I text)
arm flexing emoji
(the emoji that is always at the top of my recently used emoji tab)
This is all in the dead of the suburban night. I am flying through Mountain Rd, singing loudly, feet hitting all the curbs, the cracks and concrete hard with the confidence of a runner without shin splints. I widen my steps as i go, feeling invincible. I look up at the sky and feel the urge to tweet something banal like the sky looks amazing tonight. This thought, of course, immediately ruins the moment. Mountain Road ends and soon I am home, eager to 1) pig out, 2) zonk out.
I rummage around uselessly in my bag long after i have realised i do not have my keys. Fuck.
Flashback to all the times I have been locked out of this house. In all instances I was skinny enough to squeeze through the kitchen window. Tonight, I don’t have to test my older, wider body for my dad has now hidden a spare key outside. The only other thing is i locked my room door as well. Which i usually never do. Except for the one night i leave my keys inside.
The rest of my night goes like this: pig out by the light of the fridge; wonder if i could stay up all night in the kitchen; curse myself for making plans early in the morning; shower; feel gross by wearing the same clothes after the shower; sneak up to the door of my dad’s room; deliberate for ages on the best way to wake him up; find that he is not even there; come to the realisation that my dad is on a date, an all-nighter date; end up sleeping in his bed, terribly. Dreams are interspersed with memories of all the times I forgot my keys. How can I be so forgetful and yet remember all instances so vividly?
At 8am i hear the familiar sounds of my dad’s car reversing into the driveway and i leap out of his bed so quickly, it’s almost cartoonish. I toss back the duvet and bound up the stairs, two at a time. He walks into the kitchen and i tiptoe down and watch him bustle around with breakfast preparations.
“Pancakes?” he asks
With that, I chicken out of asking about his night, out of sharing any part of mine.
I walk back up and then down the stairs again. I re-enter the kitchen.
“Can you unlock my door?”
He sighs and hands me the spare keys. He doesn’t make pancakes. I vow to never forget my keys ever again.