I remember the first time I had a key to a place I lived — it was for my college freshman dorm room. When I moved off-campus, some times I lived places where we locked up, sometimes we didn’t. Until I had a few scares at home, I was pretty lackadaisical about locking up my house. I left for the ice with a house key for when I came back homeSouth Pole is a small community, and generally things aren’t locked up. I think you would get funny looks if you asked for a key to your room. I’m not even sure you’d get one, since it might compromise fire safety.
It was kind of disappointing to get an office key, but we do have some interesting stuff sitting around, and stuff’s been known to walk away in past years. On the other hand, the office walls don’t go all the way to the ceiling and the door doesn’t latch very well, so I suppose I can consider it symbolic. But it puts my office on a par with the Liquor Barn and the room where they keep cigarettes.
While we’re on the subject, I got a voice mail yesterday from the clerk at my post office in Palo Alto saying that my keys had been found, and they were in my post box. My house-sitter confirmed that she still had her set, and checking the post box found a set of keys that doesn’t sound like any keys I’ve ever owned. I was kind of hoping that it was the keys I lost about six years ago on the coast, but no. More mystery.