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  • I lost my combination lock a few weeks ago. I forgot it on my locker at the gym. It may seem like no big deal but it is a big deal because remembering my combination is a big deal. I've been using that lock for a long time, at least a year, and I FINALLY remember the combination.


    I was stuffing the tattered piece of paper, that had been stuck on the back of the lock at purchase, in my top, my shoe, my iPhone case. Anywhere I wouldn't lose it. Losing the lock was not a concern of mine. I feared forgetting the combination; perhaps when I had just a few moments to get that critical meeting or some such. So... i finally had those three numbers committed to memory. I felt confident at the gym. Not only was I THERE... and I looked good... (except the day I decided to have a mental competition with the 22 year old girls next to me who were lifting free weights like champs only to have them pick up my vibe and engage in a mental competition with me. Lifting more and more and more weight... They didn't laugh out loud when I went to failure and dropped two dumbbells from a decline bench press. But I felt the look they exchanged. "I wonder how many cats that one has...") But I remembered my combination. Awwww Yeeaahhhh. I walked with my head high.


    So I lost it. I forgot it. Rookie move; absolutely. Now I had a new combination to remember... A new combination to stuff in my top, my shoe or my iphone case. I realize the absurdity of being so attached to a combination lock. But those THREE numbers meant victory. I had done it. I had tolerated the gym, conquered it, living through it... I has won. Perhaps not the war but absolutely that battle. I was victorious. Those three numbers meant I could go eat a cheeseburger and laugh at it. I could eat two. Because I was a champ. Those three numbers didn't judge me if I phoned it in that day... nope... they were my ticket out of that smelly, horribly lit, terrible sounding money pit.


    Something unforeseen happened. I could not find another combination lock. I searched high and low. I went to no less then 7 places to locate one. So... I gave in. I yoga-ed and pilated at home. I watched Cassey Ho videos. (and cursed her freely and passionately and openly.) I push-upped and squatted and sweated while watching Peter Mansbridge in the morning. It was pretty nice. But I knew I had to get a new lock. I realized the combination was fading... like the memory of an old friend or family pet long deceased. It was fading. I found myself repeating them in my mind... wishing I had been a true champ and not left that precious combination lock on my locker.


    I went to Lunenburg to fetch some boxes I had stored at a friends house three years ago. They were in his basement and they smelled terrible. Horrible. Worse then any gym. I recoiled. I drove home with the windows down. I was eager to unload them... perhaps they would held some hidden treasure I had forgotten about. I knew my sweet blender was there... that made me happy. I thought about my post-gym smoothies... and the lock.


    When I entered the city I was determined to locate and purchase a new lock. Today was the day.

    Fail. I went to three places. No dice. No lock. Nothing. Beaten.

    So I came home to unload those disgusting boxes and see if anything was worth salvaging. I'll spare the details of the boxes. They weren't actually that bad. I made a big pile for trash. I made a medium pile for goodwill and i made a tiny little pile to keep. Everything was in its right place. I loaded my car for goodwill and headed out. Its just down the street so I didn't mind running over in Suzann's old adidas pants, Kat's old flip-flops and an indecent-million-year-old-used-to-be-black tank top.

    When I arrived there was no one around. I unloaded the chicken mobile swiftly... As I lifted the final box I was feeling good; lighter, freer. Getting rid of shit I don't need feels good... But that smelly, rotten, disgusting box broke. The bottom fell right out of it. The contents crashed down onto my Deutsch-flip-flopped feet. And it hurt. Because something metal smashed my big toe.

    I cursed with fervor. I hopped and cursed; my pony tail swung into my right eye. I was a sight to behold. Then something miraculous happened. I froze. Could it be. In the pile... was it... a combination lock. My pain faded to curiosity... could I have left the combination sticker on this lock... Anticipation grew... my heart swelled as I leaned down to pick up the lock having already forgotten the imminent death of my left big toe nail.

    I looked at the lock. Hoping. Wishing. My mind oscillated between hope and defeat. It would be no good to me without that damn combination sticker to put in my top, or my shoe, or my iphone case. I knew this would be a journey; a daily battle to not lose that piece of paper. A daily chore to remember that combo... but i was ready to get back to the gym. I turned it over in my hands.

    Today I witnessed a miracle. It happened to me.

    22-08-38. Fuck yes.
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