I Am Locked Out

When I left my apartment this morning, I did two things simultaneously. I closed my door and realized that I didn’t have my keys with me. I do that a few times a year.

When I did this at an apartment I lived in six or seven years ago, I’d wait for my neighbor to come home and he’d let me crawl out his kitchen window onto a nice broad ledge. I’d climb over to my apartment and crawl in through my window. My roommate Joe and I reciprocated, providing the same service to our neighbor on several ocassions. I always locked myself out when Joe was out of town, so I couldn’t just wait for him to come home.

One of the last times I locked myself out at that apartment, my windows were latched in such a way that I couldn’t pry them open. I had locked my first floor entrance, which opened onto a stairway that led to my apartment door. The main apartment door remained unlocked. After some hemming and hawing I just put a rock through the window pane next to the doorknob on my first-floor entrance. My neighbor had apparently had to make a similar choice at some point in the past, since my door now match the neighbor’s.

When Joe and I moved out of that apartment, I shopped around for a window pane to replace the one I’d broken. I was told that it was some type of safety glass and that it would be expensive to replace. The window shop suggested that I get a plastic panel at Eagle Hardware instead.

I took the number 7 bus all the way from Broadway to Eagle on Rainier Avenue. I read the measurements that I’d written down in my sketch book to the guy at Eagle. He cut a small panel for me and, as I left his work area, he said dryly, “Enjoy your acrylic.”

Later, when I went to work on the window, I found that I’d mis-measured. The panel was a quarter of an inch too big on each side.

I made the trip back to Eagle and had the panel recut. The guy who did the work was not the same person I’d dealt with before. But when I left he made the same joke, “Enjoy your acrylic.”

Categorized as Before