I saw The Hunger Games movie last night. As a 26-year-old man, this in itself is embarrassing. In terms of taste in movies, I am now no different from a 16-year-old girl – and oooooh you should see how angry I get when boys don’t call me back. The movie was good, but not so good that I’m going to get a Mockingjay tramp stamp on my lower back. If you get that joke you’re a teenage girl at heart as well. This isn’t a film review though, this is an exercise in self loathing, because I’m an idiot who left his keys in the theatre. Allow me to digress.
As I said, I went and saw the next best thing to Vampires and Werewolves on the big screen. I had a lot of things in my pocket: wallet, book, iPhone, headphones, notebook, pen, pizza coupon, change, more change, old streetcar transfers, and my keys. My pockets were pregnant with loot. I reorganized, and – in a moment of pure genius – I decided to stuff my keys into my seat cup holder. I think you can see how this ends.
I left the theatre. I also left my keys in the theatre. I always have these great spots to put my keys where I think it’s impossible to forget them, then I forget them. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized what I had done or failed to do. There was a lot of swearing on my dark lonely street, but I won’t transcribe that.
My roommate Eric and I rode our bikes back downtown to try to collect my keys to everything. Misery loves company, unfortunately Eric was in a good mood.
There was nothing in the lost and found. I asked if I could take a look in the theatre while another movie was playing, they were fine with this. Unfortunately, they were fine with this only because they knew I would give up in a matter of seconds. You never realize how dark a movie theatre is until you’re trying to look for your keys and not paying attention to the film.
I had no idea where I had sat, and there were people sitting everywhere; it was a lost cause. The last thing I wanted to do was play leap-frog over people in a movie theatre and get sour patch kids thrown at me. I’ve ruined the lives of enough women – according to them, although I think they were being dramatic – to know better than to get between a lady and what she’s been wanting more than life itself. Girls are mad for this movie. The keys were lost for the night.
I still don’t have my keys. This is a nuisance for two reasons. First, that jingly hunk of metal has the power to open everything I own. I’m not worried that some Hunger Games fanatic is going to track down my Kia and go for a joy ride while getting superb mileage. Of more concern is me being able to go for a joy ride while getting superb mileage. I love getting good mileage, almost as much as I love watching movies targeted at girls.
The true reason for my devastation is purely sentimental. Attached to my keys were a few cherished tokens of my youth.
I had the bottle cap to the first beer I bought with a fake ID, sorry parents and Nana. If it’s any comfort the ID was terrible, and it’s a miracle it ever worked. It did work a lot though.
I had a little flashlight that I used at my first job. I was 16 and I spent the summer cleaning golf carts and toilets at a local golf course. I actually went back to the same job as a man, which was a little depressing. The flashlight doesn’t work anymore, but I’ve kept it on there as a reminder that things could always be worse; I could be getting paid $6.85 an hour to clean toilets again.
I had a bottle opener from my very first road trip without parental supervision, a coming of age milestone. We drove a mini-van which is less cool, but it was our mini-van for those four days. The bottle opener was shaped like a shark. It didn’t get used very often, and, more than anything, it just added extra girth to my key chain. After I bought that opener I drove clean through a tropical storm. Mother nature is no match for a man and his van.
It pains me to write about all those things “I had”, past tense, but it had to be done.
Hope is not entirely lost though, I’m going to go to the theatre right now to try and find my janitor’s key chain.
…Bike ride downtown where I got honked at FOUR times for no apparent reason. Alright, one honk was for a very apparent reason…
Found them! I dodged a bullet this time. Those keys were pretty near and dear to my heart. If I had lost them I was prepared to write a lengthy sermon summing up the grief over my loss.
I would have talk about how losing my beloved key chain and the attached tokens of my youth meant that maybe it was time to grow up and leave behind the childish relics of my past. Instead I get to hold onto them for a little longer.
It would have been inconvenient to lose all my keys, one of which is the key to a certain sister’s condo, but it’s all the growing up I’ve done with those keys that really would have made the loss sting.
I hope my key chain stays along for the whole ride into my old age, however old that may be. I’ll sit in the park and show the kids my very first beer cap. I’ll tell them the tale behind it, and how I almost lost it going to see The Hunger Games. One kid will ask what a ‘Hungry Game’ is, another – smarter – kid will say, “My mom tells me not to talk to strangers.”