20 Locked Out


Back in 2008, I had a holiday party to attend 5 blocks away from my apartment that fateful evening.

When I got home I had a few bags in my hand and pushed the key too hard into the lock, and the lock turned upside-down. I call the super and left him a message. The problem was; this wreath hanger that was over the door had made the door shut incorrectly, so the lock kept getting stuck.

This had happened before, but I never had to fix it, so I called Andy who was visiting a friend in Jersey. He talked me through it, and gave me instructions on how to fix the lock once the door was opened. I was finally in the house.

But that was just the beginning.

6:03pm I open the door and the house reeks of Chinese food, so I open the bedroom window while I talk to a friend on the phone about his broken iPod.

6:05pm I get off the phone because my super is calling me back. He is at church, and cannot fix the lock. But I tell him not to worry, I am in the apartment.

6:10pm I lay out all of Andy’s Christmas gifts on the couch.

6:12pm I find the screwdriver to fix the lock, and proceed to fix it.

6:13pm I check the lock to make sure it is working correctly with the door open. It seems fine, so I go outside of my apartment and shut the door to test it. Much to my surprise, the key is not working AT ALL now, and I am stuck outside of my apartment with no coat, no phone, no money, and no ID.

6:15pm I head outside to my Super’s entrance, and he isn’t there, but I bang on the door just in case.

6:17pm I find the nearest phone booth on the street and try to call Andy collect. I had no idea you can’t call cell phones collect. Then I collect call my parents so they can call Andy. There is no answer, and it’s freezing.

6:19pm I head to my friend’s house 5 blocks away. Thankfully I remember the apartment number, and they let me in. I use her blackberry to call Andy and he doesn’t answer.

6:25pm I am still waiting for him to call back, and I finally get my parents (who were also at church). Just as I am about to tell them what is happening, Andy beeps in. I bring him up to speed, and then ask him for the Super’s phone number. He doesn’t have it. “Why don’t you have it Andy?” I say. “Because you have it” he says. This is when I start to cry. My friend gives me a Kleenex and her blackberry for the time being.

6:36pm I head back to my apartment.

6:42pm. My super is still not home.

6:45pm I am back at my door trying foolishly to open it again.

6:52pm My neighbor comes home, and I ask her if she has the Super’s number. She says yes, but instead of giving it to me, she spend 10 minutes trying to open the door herself.

7:02pm A woman from upstairs comes home, and gives me the number. She points out that there are no screws on the hall side of the lock, and that the super will have to break it to get in. All I could see was the money flying out of my wallet.

7:03pm I realize that I left the window open over the fire escape because the apartment reeked of Chinese food, so I tell my neighbor to stop with the key, and I go upstairs and knock on my upstairs neighbor’s door.

7:04pm He looks a little stunned, so I tell him “I know this is super creepy, but can I climb out of your bedroom window to the fire escape, so I can get into my apartment?”

7:05pm He is still stunned, and is now asking me if I am allergic to cats. I say no, and he walks with me into his bedroom. He unlocks the bars over his window, to which I comment, “Oh we don’t have those” and with a thank you I am out the window.

7:06pm I realize that fire escapes are made for short people, because the side bars come up to my mid-thigh. I am terrified that the blackberry is going to fly out of my pocket and hit the cement 5 stories down. I am holding on to the railing so I don’t fall, and make it to the 4th floor and crawl through my window.

7:08pm After catching my breath, I loosen the lock, and take the damn wreath and hanger off of the door.

Despite all of this, the Holiday party was really fun.


2 thoughts on “20 Locked Out

  1. the part where u start crying is so sad. those moments of epic frustration are the very worst. i wonder if they are necessary to have/drive the following lightbulb moment re: open window.

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