A Bunch of Keys

Six silver keys of assorted sizes thread onto a silver ring. There are no novelty keyrings boasting to brighten them up or give them some individuality. Are they the keys to one’s heart? Alas, no, they speak of nothing but adult responsibilities. Whilst each has a different function, they have the same thing in common – locking and unlocking. Three belonging to the front door, another for the kitchen door. A spare for the next-door neighbour’s house, one for the alleyway. The Groundhog Day feeling that’s associated with such a bunch of keys, and it comes around so quickly. When it’s time to close up for evening and turn off the lights, when it’s time to leave in the morning – double checking that the door is firmly locked behind. The various recycling containers that go out each Thursday: pink bag for plastics, empty tin and aluminium cans; blue bag for newspapers and junk mail; the grey kerbside caddy for food leftovers but no liquids please; and the black rectangular bin for bottles, cardboard and food packaging. The next-door neighbour has been kind enough to share her brown household waste bin after Number 98’s was stolen after it was first put out. Almost two years ago. A complaint was made to the council but they weren’t prepared to send another brown wheelie bin out for free, it had to be paid for again. No way, José. The alleyway was also in a state lately, well over twenty-five black rubbish bags strewn against the low brick wall of Number 98. Stinking, rotting and dirty, attracting vermin and possible would-be chancers who wanted to break in, leaving her feeling vulnerable in her own surroundings. Not just that, the fruit flies, sand flies, bluebottles and spiders that had been driving her crazy all summer long.