THE KEYS TO LIFE
We were to meet at the top of the leaning tower of Pisa. Here he said he would give me the keys to life. I don’t even know if they were actual keys or metaphorical keys, but it doesn’t matter because he’s not here.
I started off in Madison, WI where I go to college, from there I stayed in New York City with a couple friends and then caught a plane to London, my first time in Europe. There I saw Big Ben and then took a train to Paris where I saw The Louvre and met a girl that I kissed and then flew to Rome, ate pizza and spent three days, took a train to Florence and hung out with a punk from Austria named James, saw the statue of David and now I am hear. This is the itinerary the professor laid out for me. The one he told me to take and that at the top I would be given the keys. He is not here. He is nowhere to be found.
The woman I am telling the story to doesn’t appear to be listening anymore. Her job is to punch the tickets and let people go inside the tower every 15 minutes. I’m about to walk away when she yells and asks me to repeat what I said so I go through my travels again and she shakes her head, but then doesn’t say anything more. Again I am about to walk away when she yells and waves me back. I approach her and she puts out her hand and asks for my camera. I hand it to her and she begins going through my pictures of my trip. She hands the camera back, and just says, “The keys to life? What do you think it is?” She laughs again and then I chuckle and then nod.
She is still staring at me, I am staring at her. Finally she reaches again for the camera and says “Now let’s get a picture of you like you’re holding up the tower!”
David S. Grant is the author of several books. His latest, BLOOD: The New Red will be available 11-11-11. For more information go to http://www.davidsgrant.com. Follow David on Twitter .david_s_grant