Tuesday, December 8, 2009
An Unnecessary Adventure
[I know today should be Poetry Tuesday, but this is an emergency post!]
When the laundry man came to pick up this week's load, the batch of cookies in the oven (Cocoa Snowflakes) had 5 minutes left to bake. I checked the timer and paused the DVD of Miracle on 34th Street.
Moving quickly downstairs with our bag of dirty clothes, I closed the apartment door behind me (so the cat wouldn't get out). In my hurry, I had not taken anything with me -- no keys, no wallet, no phone. And when I heard the door click shut, I thought, "Oh. I hope the apartment door's not locked. That would be bad."
It was. Locked. And bad.
Dan was scheduled to be at soccer for another 1-2 hours. The cookies had 3 minutes left to bake. The downstairs neighbor was in the shower (I could hear it running) and didn't have keys or share a window. I could get on the fire escape from the downstairs apartment, if I waited for the shower to end (and allowed a decent interval for the shower-er to get dressed), but I was 90% sure our windows were all locked. I keep them that way so no one can get into our apartment from the fire escape.
These thoughts zooming through my head, I gave the laundry man the laundry and double-checked my apartment door. Still locked. Friends who hold on to a spare set of keys for us live nearby, but I had no shoes. I thought about shouting after the laundry man and asking him for a ride to the spare key holders' home. All options seemed terribly embarrassing.
I had to do it.
I pulled out my messy "baking" ponytail (I hadn't showered yet) hoping the hair might fall in such a way that it would hide my identity), unlocked the building's front door from the inside (in case I had to come back with no keys, as I didn't even know if our friends would be in), and ran 4 blocks barefoot to their house, feeling -- and probably looking -- like a crazy person (uncombed hair, no shoes or socks, dirty glasses, etc.). I rang the doorbell forcefully -- twice. I was hoping someone would be home, but not irretrievably asleep.
After that second ring, the door was opened. Rescued, I breathlessly, briefly explained my situation. I was promptly loaned sneakers and given my spare keys, at which point I ran/walked home, breathing hard, stopping only to explain to my next-door neighbor what had happened (apparently, I frightened his wife when I ran by on my trip out, unshod and shouting something about my apartment).
With the spare keys, I re-entered my home. The apartment smelled like cocoa and orange. The oven timer was blinking 00:00. The cat (and Miracle on 34th Street) waited patiently.
My feet are cold. My lungs hurt. My eyes are watering. My dear friends were rudely awakened. But the cookies may still be edible. They're cooling now.
And that is what matters.