The house keys fell from my pocket when I reached for my gloves. Attached to a silver ring, they clattered on the sewer grate, slipped through, and disappeared with a splash.
I cursed, threw my head back, and considered the enormity of the problem: it was the week between Christmas and New Year’s; my wife was at a yoga retreat with her sister, in upstate New York; my landlord was probably out of town; I had only loose change in my pocket; less than a quarter-charge on my phone; and my bladder was almost full.
After donning the gloves, I tried lifting the grate but it wouldn’t budge. Recovering the keys was unlikely, what I wanted was a hiding place from my shame.