When I leave the house every morning, I turn the bottom lock on the front door and shut it on my way out. Then I walk through an apartment complex to the Razorback bus stop (no car, remember?) to ride up to campus with all the booger eaters in Fayetteville (public transportation in an area not known for public transportation is … interesting). When I’m out of class, I wait around for the bus on campus, hop on it, and take the same route in reverse.
What happens, though, when you turn the lock and shut the door with your keys inside the house?
And the house is locked down like Fort Knox?
And there’s no spare key?
Let me tell you.
First, if you’ve had the day like I had, you sit on the front porch and cry for no less than 90 seconds, but no more than 180. No use making a damn fool of yourself. I quickly ruled out our neighbors, as I’ve never met them because I’m 92% certain that they are methheads. 8% says I won’t die in an ammonia-fueled explosion, but I can’t hang my hat on 8%.
I walk into the backyard thinking that I could squeeze my fat ass through the guest room window. It’s a sliding glass window, which sits up kind of high, but it’s right above the AC unit, so I thought if I could get a good running start an use the AC unit as a springboard, I could catapult myself on to the bed (if I could get the window open). The screen was kind of peeling back, so my thought was that I could take off the screen and Macgyver the window open.
Not so much. I got the screen off, but the window was locked, and tryas I might, I couldn’t get it off the rail to open. Which is probably a good thing from a safety-slash-robbery perspective, but when it comes to breaking into your own home, it seriously jams you up.
Granted, at this point, I could have just sat out in the backyard and waited. Our backyard houses a pool, a hot tub, and a cabana with a mini-fridge full of booze. In all truth, I could have just sat myself outside and drank in the sunlight, and I would have been happy to do so.
But no. No sirree.
This is a matter of principle, damn it, and I’m getting in the damn house.
I sit. And I think.
And I remember that there is a side door to the garage that opens up to the backyard.
I run around the side of the house, skipping like a Von Trapp kid. I slowly turn the knob, in hesitant excitement, silently praying, please be open, please be open, and the door is unlocked! Elated, I push forward.
And go nowhere.
I know remember that the reason we never use this door is because there is a huge mountain of various yard/cleaning shit barricading the door closed. Literally, boxes and lawnmower stuff and a tool chest and maybe a dead body, all leaning against that door, trying its hardest to keep me out of the house.
I manage to crack open the door about three inches, pushing with every ounce of my body. And somehow, in a move that defies physics, gravity, space, and probably some sort of theory of time, I squeeze myself through the smallest space I’ve squeezed through since birth. But it happened.
The saga doesn’t end here. No, no, no. I’m now standing in the middle of a sharp, pointy, rusty, tetanus-inducing, Final Destination style desert.
In the dark.
And I’m already sweating.
I very slowly start sliding my feet around on the ground, like Jodie Foster in the basement of Silence of the Lambs. I manage to make it to what I think is the middle of the garage, where the shitpile ends and freedom begins. I know that at that spot, I can walk calmly to the door leading into the kitchen.
Forgetting that the lawn had been mowed the day before, and that some of the equipment was still out of place.
I start a normal-kid walk toward the door, and hook my foot on the Weed Eater that was hanging out in the middle of the garage.
And I. eat. shit.
I fell. Hard. On to my noggin and my pride.
There is still tangled spiderweb of choppy profanity hanging in the ozone over Sunny Lane. I sounded like Yosemite Sam on Looney Tunes, when he would say what you knew were supposed to be curse words, but in a mumbly, kid-friendly way. For a solid thirty seconds, as I laid sprawled out in the garage, flailing and throwing a general tantrum that would make a two year-old proud.
But when I finished, I stood up, dusted myself off, and slowly walked in the door to the kitchen. I had done it.
I then promptly marched into the backyard to hang out in the pool and make a drink.
Hey. I said it was about principle.