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What are the chances?

On my pre-dawn walk today the patchy new snow was luminescent beneath the dark trees, lighting up the cold spots on the ground as clearly as an infrared camera picks up the warm ones. It was like looking at a photo negative, and having your eye drawn to different features than normal, such that a completely familiar landscape takes on an edgy, dream-like feel. I’m not sure if I was pleased or disappointed when, with the brightening sky, my world became its normal old self again.

Yesterday I was longing for the world to do just that, as unpredictable, unprecedented event followed unpredictable, unprecedented event. My day began with a series of dreams which nested into each-other like Russian dolls: I’d dream that I was dreaming, and then I’d “wake up” to write down that dream, and found that my room had been entirely re-arranged in the night. Waking up from that dream, I found someone pounding on my door, and when I stumbled out of bed to go answer it no one was there, so I went about making breakfast, at which point I woke up. It is my current opinion that thatwaking actually worm-holed me to the same reality I share with you, but that is only my opinion. It still won’t surprise me one bit if I wake up in a minute or two. And it wouldn’t surprise me if  I were to have proof that you were dreaming me into existence. If that turns out to be the case, please don’t turn me into a burrito or make me do anything like licking windows or riding a camel-lion. Its undignified.

After that introduction to this (one of many) particular reality things went pretty well for a few hours.  After work I had to stop off at the new house to confer with Roger about a few things, then I had to jet it to town for a dental appointment. Business with Roger done, I went to jump into my pick up, and found that it had locked me out. With the keys sitting on the console. Apparently some errant, exotic, uninvited, passing radio frequency came by with bad intent, and impersonated my clicker (does a technical term for a “clicker” actually exist?) just when I really needed to hop in the truck and get moving because I was already on the cusp of late. Not one to rest in the state of bewilderment or befuddlement for very long, I surmised pretty quickly that Roger would have to give me a ride home, where I had a spare key. Only Roger’s truck was parked behind the dump-truck, which was currently stuck, immobile, with the dumper in the ‘up’ position. Luckily, Donny the dump-truck driver had his pickup there, so he volunteered to drive me home while Roger tried to fix the dump-truck.

On the way there I ransacked the tumult that passes for my brain for the location of my spare key. Finding keys, in my experience, is never easy, even in the best of conditions. It is not impossible for me to be utterly flummoxed by the location of my office keys when its time to go home. On the day in question all I did was (in theory) enter the office in the morning, stuff my keys in my jacket pocket, hang up said article of clothing, work for six hours, and promptly at 1:30, having exited the door, found my jacket pocket profoundly empty. It took me twenty minutes to find the keys in my shirt pocket. That said, its not surprising that I was not optimistic about finding my spare pick-up key.  The chances were slim enough as they were, but then factor in the fact that I had been packing things away in preparation for moving, and the fact that I was pretty sure my little box of spare keys was one of the things packed, and the odds were about as good as of me finding that as they are of me finding a Turkish house boy at my house when I go home from work today, who had cleaned the house, done the shopping, and prepared a hot cup of Turkish coffee and a plate of tempting appetizers for an after work pick-me-up.

What a waste of long odds it was that I found my key in about two minutes. It had been in the bottom box of a stack of ten, but it contained my little box and my key. Off I went to the big city, where I endured a seemingly superfluous amount of poking and prodding with sharp instruments and pudgy fingers, but I survived. The next surprise came in the parking lot of the grocery store, when I reached into my briefcase for my wallet. “Must have put it in my jacket pocket.” Thought I. Once again, my jacket pocket let me down. Hmmph. A small city like Great Falls may not have a surfeit of museums, galleries, fine dining or art film houses, but one thing it does have is bank tellers who recognize you. Where else can you walk into your bank, sans ID or account number and say “I’d like to have some of my money, please.” and they give it to you? Not in New York City, baby.


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