As I was running to my car this evening I lost my grip on my keys, and they sailed directly into the mouth of a waiting storm drain. I laughed deliriously for about ten seconds, then tried to see if I could find them. I couldn’t see into the drain, and I couldn’t feel anything as far as I could stick my arm in, but I was able to dislodge the cast-iron grate and lift it enough to see that I might have a chance of getting it all the way off. I ran back to my apartment and recruited my roommate to come help me. Together, we lifted the grate clear of the opening.

With a flashlight, the glint of my keys was visible amidst a pile of fall leaves that appeared to be floating on the sewer muck. They were maybe four feet below street level. I tried to step in, but could feel no bottom with my boots. Instead, I handed my glasses to my roommate and went in upside-down from the waist up, my legs still on the street. I grabbed the keys, set them well clear of the drain, and together we replaced the cover.

It was an eventful evening.

2 thoughts on “Drainage”

  1. Oh man! In an old apartment building I once dropped my keys and they went directly into the crack between the elevator and the floor beyond. We managed to get into the elevator room in the basement and get the keys. I know exactly that delirious feeling of denial and horror you had!

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