Saturday, March 14, 2009

once upon a time

in a very snowy clime
all the roommates were gone...

on a freezing New Year's Sunday morn, YoSafBridg left the warm apartment, in her nightshirt, to pick up the morning paper. As she heard the heavy, locked, outside door close behind her, she realized she had no way of getting back in because, not only were all of HER roommates gone, but so were all of the old house/apartment building tenants.

She sat outside on the ice covered porch contemplating her options; perhaps walk the eight blocks to work in her bare feet (and night shirt) where she kept a spare set of keys; perhaps venture across the street where the Sunday services were just letting out and beg for phone access; or perhaps try her hand at breaking into the lower apartment (not hers, by the by) with nothing but her rapidly freezing fingers.

Any stick or branch she tried, of course, broke off in the window frames. Snow burned her feet with every romp of the porch. She sat some more, contemplated some more, tried some more, as the time ticked by. Sat, thought, romped, repeated as deeper desperation sank in. Banged on screens with a rock, seemingly to no avail; but as she continued one screen began to give. She slowly worked her fingers into the small gap, ripping the screen apart in the process (the cold staunched most of the blood flow.)

After what seemed like hours (but was only one or so) she managed to pry the screen off. Then, through sheer force of will, she lifted the window and climbed in. As she made her way to the apartment door, she discovered, quite miraculously, someone, maybe someone whose lease was up, had left a key inside the door that appeared to have been slid under the door for return. She pushed the mangled screens out of their places, slipped out the door, slid the key back in and made her way up to her own apartment (with a light door that did not swing close, therefore unlocked.) She grabbed the keys to her roommate's car and carted the screens off to a nearby dumpster.
No one ever seemed any the wiser (or is that everyone seemed none the wiser?)
Reminds her of another time, same town,  but in the hot, humid summer. After the long walk home from work she looks for some cool refreshment. Chilled Pinot Grigio seems to fit the bill (over ice, how gauche!) She gulps the from extra large size tumbler with no thought to alcohol content. Then, quickly off to the bar to meet friends. Once there the waitress dumps a pitcher of beer down her back and, to make up for it serves her free pitchers all night (and who is she to say no?)
At the end of the night she invites all her friends back to her place to imbibe from the beer she is sure she has left over from another party.
Somehow she ends up alone to walk home. Isn't sure how to find it. As she steps off the curb to cross the street she slams into a big concrete wall (and what a stupid place to put a wall!) But, as she backs away, she realizes that somehow her vertical position had suddenly turned horizontal and the wall that made her bleed was actually the street she was lying in.
She feels no pain from the many scrapes and cuts covering face to toe, and forgets the friends awaiting her at home.
When she gets there she recounts her tale of woe to no sympathy. They want the beer that was promised them. Of course, she has lost her keys somewhere along the way and has no idea how to get in. She repeatedly rings the doorbell (all the apartments') to no avail. They all stand in the street and shout at the second floor, no one opens a single window.
The idea occurs to climb the fire escape which leads to a roommate's closet and pound on the window there. Eventually this rouses Roommate who lets the crowd in where they refuse to leave because the promised beer is nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps all her experience as a latchkey-locked-out child served her well

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