No one wants to get locked out of the house.
And that goes double in February in
My landlord had let me know, of course, that he and a housing inspector would be stopping by Tuesday morning.
And that was fine with me.
What was not fine with me was that the landlord locks both the deadbolt and the door knob when he leaves. I do not do this. In my world, the deadbolt is enough of a lock. So when I let myself in after work Tuesday evening, I unlocked them both, came in, changed into my flannel pants and a cashmere sweater and made myself a bowl of soup. I wrote for a couple hours and then thought to myself, Hey, how about you go outside and do some shoveling?
I put on my boots, my coat, my gloves, and step out on to the deck.
Shovel shovel shovel.
Geez it’s cold out here. I step back, survey the neighborhood, look up to see the way the stars twinkle, cold and aloof in the winter sky.
And when I go to let myself back in, the door is locked.
9:30 in the evening, it’s dark out, and it’s 10 degrees.
You see, the reason I don’t lock both locks is because the lock on the knob requires, once you unlock it and step into the house, that you go one step further and adjust the little doohickey on the knob itself so that it doesn’t relock itself.
The deadbolt, of course, is unlocked, but the knob, from the outside, remains locked.
And here you thought you had, hours earlier, unlocked it.
In the cold dark, I press my nose against the door, an all-glass affair covered with sheer drapes.
My glass of Moscato sits next to my laptop, alone and undrunk.
I try the door again. No. It’s locked.
I fly down the steps that snake their way up the outside of the house, down to the first floor, where I find Diana, mid-smoke. I curse in several languages.
“Settle down!” she says. “It’s no problem. Really. I’m happy to drive you to the landlord. Let’s make a call.”
The landlord, a bartender at an upscale restaurant in Uptown, takes the call, says he’ll leave the key with the valet.
An hour later, I can let myself back into my place.
And the Moscato is warm, but there’s more in the fridge.
Diana is a dear person, a good city driver, and a helluva friend. And I am taking her out to dinner Thursday night.