Heroes wear pyjamas

The “nightmares” that I remember are often very vivid because they are real-life scenarios; missing a deadline for work, making a big mistake, embarrassing myself in public, etc.
While I’m asleep and dreaming, it usually feels like the nightmare is actually happening in real life, until I wake up, and all is well again.
Last Thursday, one of those really bad, panic-inducing, embarrass-myself-in-public nightmares actually did happen.
And to make the most out of the experience, I thought I’d share the story here. Anything for the readers.
So to start, I can, in fact, confirm that we live in the best little town, and heroes actually wear pyjamas.
I was housesitting in Haliburton for a family that had gone away on a trip for March Break.
I was also looking after their dog who can’t be alone outside because she will chase the hundreds of deer in the area (a topic for another time. Please don’t feed the deer in town).
The dog’s regular schedule is to wake up at 6:30 a.m. to go outside and then eat her breakfast.
So at exactly 6:30 a.m., she wakes me up to go out.
In my half-conscious state, I get up and put my boots on.
I hesitate to grab my coat. I’ll just be out for a few minutes.
At the last second, I end up throwing on my coat over my pyjamas; the best decision of the morning.
It’s cold out. I’m eager to go back inside.
When the dog’s finally ready, I push down on the handle to open the door.
It won’t budge.
The door isn’t one that you can accidentally lock; it has to be locked from the outside only.
Confused, I try and push down on the handle again, and still, nothing. It’s stuck. Like, really stuck.
This is when I’m hit with the first wave of panic.
It’s OK, I think to myself, because my keys are in my pocket. I can unlock the downstairs door.
As the dog is looking at me, like, “what’s wrong with you, open the door,” the second wave of panic hits when I feel around in my empty pockets.
My next half-conscious thought: call and ask the owners if there is a spare key.
Then I picture my phone safely connected to the charger, inside the house, on the table, next to my car and house keys.
Third panic wave.
No keys. No phone. No will to exist in that moment.
Aside from camping out on the front step until the owners got home the next day, I’m left with the only nightmarish option for an introvert. I have to go knocking on doors. In my PJs. And the dog trailing behind on a leash.
Picture that riffraff approaching your door at 6:30 a.m.
Believe me, I seriously contemplated camping out.
Long-story short, the only thing damaged was my pride.
To the not one, not two, not three, but four amazingly kind neighbours in pyjamas that lended me a phone to panic call my mom, offered me coffee, and also pointed me to the right place to find a spare key for the other door, I owe you big. It was great, but let’s not do it again sometime.
We really do live in the best little town, though, full of the most accepting people.
I’ll never forget to be grateful for that. And I’ll also never forget my keys and phone inside at 6:30 a.m. ever again.