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Chasing The American Dream

March 30, 2008


Jerry : You know, life is amazing. I just lost a job and five minutes later get another, same weekend, same money.
Kramer : You know who you are? Even Steven

Jerry : Played cards last night.
Elaine : Oh yeah? How'd you do?
Jerry : Broke even.
Elaine : You always break even.
Jerry : Yeah, I know; like yesterday I lost a job, and then I got another one, and then I missed a TV show, and later on they re-ran it. And then today I missed a train, went outside and caught a bus. It never fails! I always even out!

Elaine : Do you have twenty bucks?
Jerry : What for?
Elaine : Just gimme twenty bucks.
Elaine takes the money and throws it out the window.
Jerry : What the hell was that?
Elaine : Let's see if you get the twenty bucks back.
Jerry : You know you could've thrown a pencil out the window and seen if that came back.
George rushes out, J+E follow him. J puts his hand in his pocket.
Jerry : Elaine ... look! A twenty!
Elaine : Oh my God.

Rachel : Jerry ...
Jerry : Yes?
Rachel : I've been doing a lot of thinking.
Jerry : Aha?
Rachel : Well, I don't think we should see each other any more.
Jerry : Oh, that's okay.
Rachel : What?
Jerry : Nah, that's fine. No problem. I'll meet somebody else.
Rachel : You will?
Jerry : Sure. See, things always even out for me.

George : I'm back in business, baby!
Jerry : George, I wouldn't get too excited about this stuff, you know, things have a way of evening out.
George : Hey! ( to Elaine, who doesn't look too cheerful )
Jerry : Elaine, don't get too down. Everything'll even out, see, I have two friends, you were up, he was down. Now he's up, you're down. You see how it all evens out for me?

During the last two weeks, unlucky me actually found money. Last week, I found a $10 bill in a parking lot. So I’ve been discussing this Seinfeld episode with my friend. We both agreed that unlucky me would likely break even and lose $10. But this week, I found a dollar bill sticking out of a parking meter of all things. Could my luck really have changed around or was the ax just waiting to fall. I was again reminded of the Seinfeld episode.

It’s weird but lately, I have actually been looking on the ground for money. But in the back of my mind, I’ve also been thinking of how I might end up breaking even. Hah, I should have known, for today, history repeated itself (for the life of me, I can't find the post about locking myself out of my apartment).

I had just finished running 5k and it was really hot out here as it usually is. I decided to rest in the park before going home. So I plopped down and shut my eyes for 15 minutes. One of my last conscious thoughts before dozing off was to check my pockets before leaving just in case either of my apartment keys fell out. I awoke abruptly and realized how thirsty I was. I needed to get home quickly. I walked maybe 20 steps before that “key” thought re-entered my head. I immediately reached into both pockets. Problem. One key was missing. And just like last time, it was the darn apartment key. I had the stupid gate key but not the apartment door key. Why couldn't it have been the gate key I lost?

No big deal, right? Just go back to the spot and find the key. But what spot? I didn’t mark it. It was a huge field. I tried but it was like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. I looked for 30 minutes. Nothing. Then all the panic thoughts set in. I have no phone, no wallet, I don’t know the landlord’s number, I don’t know anyone’s number. Who remembers numbers anymore? Who locks themselves out of their apartment more than once in a lifetime? I remembered the debacle from last time and decided I wasn’t going through all that waiting and wating for hours shtick again. Nope, this called for drastic measures. I was gonna break a window to get in. I had two options. Bedroom or living room. I decided living room because that way, no one would see me do it. I drummed up a million scenarios of how I’d tell the landlord. None of them were very plausible. Maybe I’d just settle on the truth?

Then thankfully, panic gave way to reason. I remembered there was a locksmith next to the Laundromat I go to. It was only a 15 minute walk. I was dying of thirst but had no money. That’s the damned problem with running. You want to run light and not be bogged down with too much baggage. So I run with basically nothing. Smart, huh? I made it to the locksmith and although no one was there, they posted a 24-hour phone number. The Laundromat let me use their phone and I got a hold of Frank The Locksmith. He met me at the Laundromat and drove me to my apartment. I was amazed at how quickly he opened the deadbolt and the door lock. Less than five minutes. Scary almost.

I was just happy that I got in. I knew there would be a heavy price to pay. Indeed there was. Frank gave me the bill. $155 cash only. And THAT, my friends, is my way of breaking even.

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