Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Locked Out! More Casualties of Not Paying Attention

She (That Would Be Me)
Came in Through the Bathroom Window

Breaking into a house could be crossed off my bucket list if I had one. Does it count if it’s your own house? I say yes, when it’s 6 a.m. and you are locked out—locked out with only one person inside in a deep sleep.
It was worse than a deep sleep. I’m in Massachusetts and the summer heat upstairs reached the unbearable point yesterday afternoon. When my iMac had to be put to sleep every 30 minutes to prevent spontaneous combustion, I knew it was time to install the window air conditioners. Tarah’s guy schlepped the unit two floors up from the basement and put it in the window. Blessed relief. Not only was the iMac cool, the rivulets of sweat stopped flowing down my face. He also put the other unit in his and Tarah’s room, so we were assured of cool, refreshing sleep.
Cool, refreshing sleep it was, too, and I woke sweat-free at 6 a.m. Five is my usual time, so I was a bit late and have a deadline to meet early today, so I went into quick mode. I needed a reference book from the car, so I stepped outside and retrieved it, anticipating my first cup of Keurig-style coffee in just moments.
Locked out! Cannot be true! No way! Trying the doorknob fifteen times does nothing when locked out, but nonetheless, I kept turning it, in dumb hope that maybe it would magically unlock itself. I tried the deck doors and, of course, they were locked. No problem, I thought. I rang the doorbell, but the battery must be dead because it was silent. I banged on the door about 45 times to no avail. Window air-conditioners are noisy. Combining the hum of the unit with the closed door to Tarah’s room upstairs, and knowing she didn’t get in until late, I knew banging on the door was futile, futile! Nonetheless, I kept banging until I realized I was going to cut my fingers on the glass or bruise myself.
Neighbors (except for the duplex inhabitants, who aren’t “neighbors”) are few in bucolic Groton, and anyway, it was 6 a.m. and, worse, I didn’t have my front tooth in. It’s bad enough to seek assistance from a neighbor who is likely sleeping without wearing my idiot look, which, come to think of it, was rather apt at that point.
Rock tossing at windows always works in the movies, but those must be special rocks. I tossed a few small ones at Tarah’s window, but was afraid I would break something and still be locked outside.
I walked through the damp yard and tried to go in through the bulkhead, but it was locked. I again tried the door: Yep. Still locked.
I am height-challenged, only 5’2”, so reaching most of the windows was out of the question. However, the bulkhead leans away nicely from the bathroom window, which was open. I again schlepped around the back of the house and walked up to the screened window, which was open. It was easy to get the screen out; I didn’t even wreck it. The opening was only about a foot and a half, but I figured I could squeeze through. Headline flash: Woman Breaks Neck Breaking and Entering. No, I can do this, I determined. I climbed up the sill, swung my leg over and into the bathroom, put it down on the toilet seat, swung my other leg in, and I officially joined the ranks of burglar!
Whew! Other than sore hands, and dirty feet, and waste of a precious hour of work time, I was fine. I walked to the door, unlocked it, and then I made my coffee.
Sheesh! I hope this was not a sign of how the balance of the day will unfold. Then again, I was successful, so maybe that’s a good sign.
And those casualties of not paying attention: I will be certain the door is unlocked the next time I venture outside and I might even hide a key—just in case.

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