Exhibit A: Brain deterioration

Monday, January 15, 2007

I had another pathetic moment today. A snowstorm blanketed Seattle last Wednesday. (As if I would let any of you forget—it seems all I can talk about lately is the weather.) I walked home in the snow from the van’s drop off and arrived at the Castle at 9:30pm, wet and cold, my pockets full of freshly fallen snow. I rang the bell to let the Doolies know that my momentous journey was at an end. I unlocked the door and let myself in. My hands were full of gloves and hats and a Zune (don’t let the hype fool you, the earbuds that come with it will not keep your ears warm). With all the juggling, I forgot to remove my keys from the lock in the front door. I found them the next morning as I filled my pockets to go out. They were hanging on the outside keyhole, the metal sparkling in the morning sun from the ice crystals that had formed overnight along the keys.

You would think that I would learn my lesson from that experience: when juggling, make sure to grab the keys from the door. You would be wrong. I woke up tired this morning after a fitful night’s sleep. I decided to forgo a morning shave, and I was ready to leave a few minutes earlier than usual. I looked out back and saw that ice covered my car. As it was early and I hate scraping ice, I decided to brave the snow-covered sidewalks and walk to the van. I went out the front door and juggled my gloves and my Zune (I didn’t wear a hat today because—a little known fact among non-cool people, which I will share with you because I like you and everything you stand for, and I feel bad that the cool kids always make fun of you. Just don’t try to talk to me in the hallways because I’ll completely ignore you and make your coolness factor worse—cool people don’t wear winter hats). I walked to the van and managed not to slip, although I did slide successfully across a sheet of black ice, and I performed a perfect pirouette without the spinning and the gracefulness and the perfect part.

I read the Silfkin book on the van ride to work, amazed at my increased tolerance to reading while driving (when I first attempted to read in the van, I would turn green after only a few pages). My morning was uneventful. At around 9am as I reached for my phone I patted both of my pants pocket. The left pocket felt wrong. I reached in and found my wallet but my keys were missing. (I have a very complicated pocket system: cellphone in right front pants pocket, wallet and keys in left front pants pocket, Moleskine in right back pants pocket, pen hooked onto right front pants pocket, Zune inside left jacket pocket, and optional book in right front coat pocket. Yes, I know, TMI.)

There were a few frantic moments as I thought about my keys. I mentally retraced my steps. There were two possibilities: the keys fell out as I slid across the seat leaving the van this morning (I sat on the far side of the backbench, and I dropped my gloves as I attempted to maneuver my way out of the van), or my keys were helplessly hanging from my front door. I called the van driver and he graciously agreed to check the van. Nothing there, he told me. After much planning, some begging, and some evil manipulation, I borrowed a friend’s car, drove back to the Castle, and found my keys on the front door, unmolested and quite safe. I could have taken a chance and left them there all day, but I’m from New York. And in New York you don’t do such things.

Moral of the story: I’m a terrible juggler who trusts no one. Oh, and my brain is growing stale from misuse.