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Feeling like a fool 0

Dear Bradshaw, 

            As you know, we spent the weekend in Sabaudia. I’ve told you about this place, three-stories, with a huge patio and garden. As it had been raining previous to our departure, Francesca warned me about the wet tiles on the patio and how slippery they were. Having been there many times before, I knew she was right, but stormed up and down the stairs anyway.

            Preparing to leave yesterday, while I was carrying a load of luggage to her car, she said she’d lost her keys. It happens wherever we go and although she always finds them, she has to search and it’s irritating. As she rushed into the house, I called after her saying, “That’s it! From now on I carry the keys. Understand? This is getting ridiculous!”

            She stomped up the stairs, searched closets, the bed and every drawer, and then checked the other floors. Returning to ground level, she dropped to her knees, and then emptied her purse on the porch. As she flurried through the contents, I rested a hand in my back pocket and there they were, the keys. Only then did I remember grabbing them, thinking that if I didn’t, she’d lose them later.

            I wanted to joke about the situation, to say something silly, but couldn’t open my mouth without laughing and feeling like a fool. When I did hand her the keys, biting my lip, she let me have it, mimicking my accent and saying, “That’s it! From now on I carry the keys!”

            I let her gloat, as she deserved it, and then grabbed my suitcase, and an empty, five-liter bottle of wine. Starting toward the car, I took two steps toward the stairs and then my left foot slid forward and I launched the wine bottle into the air. My feet flew forward and my head backward, and then I landed, striking my skull on the side of a stair. Luckily, it hadn’t hurt, and I shielded my head with my arms as Francesca yelled, “Scott! Are you okay?”

            I wasn’t sure yet, and besides, even if I was, I had to wait for the bottle to hit. Francesca called again, with more terror in her voice, “Are you okay?” but I dared not jinx it. Luckily, the bottle clanged onto the tiles and, amazingly, didn’t break.

            That’s it. I’m alive. No cuts, no contusions, no sweat.

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