Two Weeks of Suck, Part 2: the keys and the cat

Part of the Two Weeks of Suck series, in which b recounts her spring break.

4. So after taking my final, I had to move out of my dorm in 24 hours. Easier said than done! Fortunately, since November of freshman year I’ve lived within driving distance of Stanford. Unfortunately, my parents at this point are fed up with me screwing up, so they want to make as few back-and-forth trips as possible.

Thursday. The next morning at 11am, I’m still tossing clothes into two suitcases. My mom just got the keys to the sublet in the mail the night before, so they were tossed into a suitcase. However, after my parents bought me a bigger suitcase that morning, I left one suitcase back in my room. Yes, it was the one with the FREAKING KEYS in it.

I actually think about this in the car on our way to the airport, an hour and a half before our flight.

Me: “Hey [boyfriend], I think I might’ve forgotten the keys.”

Boyfriend: “Well, if you DID forget them… just don’t think about it right now. If we go back for them now, we’ll be late for our flight anyway.”

The thing is, he assumed the keys were at my HOUSE and not my DORM. We would’ve made it in time if we’d gone back for them, but I didn’t do the math because at that point I was used to being screwed. (Also, I can’t do math.)

So six hours later, when we touched down in New York, I look for the keys in my two suitcases. Not there. Shit. Shit. Shit.

“I’m not gonna call home yet,” I tell myself. We crash at a nearby motel for the night and order Domino’s for a late dinner. The motel wasn’t as skeevy as I thought it’d be, but they did have two porn channels, and there were “strange” noises coming from the room next to us. (We were way too jet-lagged and sleep-deprived to laugh about it.)

Luckily, the (now disgruntled) sublet owner is still in the tri-state area, so she’ll meet us at her place in the morning. I call my mom and ask her to FedEx the keys. My dad’s been kept out of the loop, but it would’ve been bad for his blood pressure anyway (Mom: “Don’t tell your dad you stayed in a motel with your boyfriend!”).

5. Friday. We get to the apartment in the morning (with boyfriend playing Superman and dragging our heavy suitcases through the subway) and finally meet our sublet owner, the really cool travel writer I told you about. The apartment is awesome (albeit on the fourth floor of a walk-up), and she has this adorable cat who has a thing for people petting him while he eats. He’s the sweetest cat ever, but she warns us to keep the front door closed and the windows only open to a certain level so he can’t jump out.

Saturday. We follow her instructions, but after watching Spamalot on Saturday evening we return to find a catless apartment. The small screen on the window we kept slightly ajar had been tellingly punched open. I nearly pass out, then scribble an e-mail to the sublet owner, who at this point is not in the country. (Boyfriend comfortingly points out that she has a “Lost Cat” few fliers lying around the apartment, with a “Last Seen” date of a couple of weeks ago, so the cat probably made a bid for freedom like this every so often. I was still distressed.)

Sunday. I call her the next morning, thinking she didn’t get my e-mail. (In reality, her e-mails weren’t dated correctly so they didn’t appear at the very top of my inbox.) Because phone calls to Europe are like $5 a minute, she manages to tell me in thirty seconds that the cat is fine and she has to go.

Whew! But then we go to Jersey City first instead of packing up.

Next up: Being late for an international flight!


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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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