Lucky had a key ring, big and jangly. Car keys, house keys, padlock keys, work keys, mysterious keys that unlocked secret things. It hooked to his back belt loop and danced and sang whenever he jaunted about. Looking down at the big, black shoes with the round toes, the cuffed dungarees and white socks. And they hypnotised me, my eyes compelled to follow their big bouncey steps. Always, I wanted to reach out and grab them, like a stranger playing hide and seek, they called to me, promising a prize if I could catch them.
Patsy’s keys didn’t jangle, nor were they on display but were rather a dainty little thing she tucked in her purse with kleenix and gumballs, a small leather wallet and a pink rat-tail comb. I never watched those keys, maybe because they were hidden and did nothing to tease my eyes or my mind. They held no magic or intrigue because they were so normal.
I longed to have keys like Lucky’s to have the power that they would avail me. Loud and big – jaunty and strong. I wonder now, if each of those keys had a place that they fit into or if many of them were gone but Lucky couldn’t let go of the keys to the missing locks. He didn’t like to throw things away. He was a keeper. He kept things and fixed things and made things that were dead to other people come back to life.
Always in his workshop (which everyone else called the garage) with his salvaged refrigerator, radios and televisions. Cleaning tools, steel wooling the rust off, whetting the blades. Tinkering with old cars and castoffs. The doctor of unloved things, always able to cure their ills and give them a new home and a place in his life. He was just that way.
Even now, I wonder about those keys and where they got to and all the secret place they unlocked. I see there dull metal brightness and hear their song stiIl.