It is the Fourth of July and I look out of my window and see people lounging on the beach, running in the park, kicking back on blankets in the grass, driving on the street below with their tops down (on their cars, not their body). There are boats anchored just offshore in the almost blue Lake Michigan water. Cars are in constant motion in both directions on Lake Shore Drive, either coming from or going to some holiday event, I'm guessing. There's the faint hint of burning charcoal in the air and little wisps of smoke rise above the park horizon like gastronomic smoke signals.
Me? I spend most of the day standing in the bland hallway of my building waiting on someone to let me into my apartment because I fucking locked myself out of my apartment ... AGAIN.
Maybe it was because I was distracted by the seemingless endless plethora of options I had in front of me on this day off: laying around on the beach, laying around on the couch watching television, laying around in a friend's backyard while they fired up the grill, laying around... well you get the idea.
But whatever the reason, I'm not paying attention as I leave the apartment for a second to run downstairs and throw something in the garbage. But right as I hear that click of the door lock I know something's wrong. I start slapping my pockets, hoping I feel the outline of the front door keys, hear something jingle that isn't change. Nope, the fucking keys are inside. I've been reminding myself time and time again to check my pockets before fully closing the door, ever since the last time I did this and had to pay the $20 the building charges to let me back into my tiny overpriced apartment. That double whammy of the loss of 20 bucks and the "what a fucking idiot" looks the guys at the desk gave me made me promise myself I wouldn't do it again.
But here I am standing outside my door, seriously contemplating kicking the stupid thing in, trying various other keys in my pocket to see if MAYBE they might work (hmmm. this key to the file cabinet at work looks about the same. I wonder if... FUCK!). And as an added bonus, it's about 9:30 in the morning, which gives me plenty of time to wander up and down the building like a derelect. I jiggle the door knob one last time to see if it has magically unlocked, then suck up my pride and head downstairs.
The Eastern European kid at the front desk is nice enough, but still manages to piss me off when he tells me that no one will be available to let me in until after 3:30 p.m. becaue it's July 4, after all and the maintenance guys want to lay around and stuff their face too. It's not the front desk kid's fault, I know, but he's pretty much planned my day out. My car keys are upstairs, so there's no chance of driving somewhere else to wait it out. I haven't had a chance to shower this morning, so I smell like Shaquille O'Neal's size 22s after a game. Luckily I have my wallet so at least I can give them the 20 bucks BEFORE they agree to open the door which is required. But I still have to wait.
I take a chance and leave the building. It's a chance because the key to the outside doors of the building are also on the same key ring. I can usually walk to the front door where they can see me, recognize me and let me in. But if there's no one at the front desk to see me, I'm stuck outside there too. This officially sucks.
Anyway, I don't get back into my apartment until 4:30. I make a few phone calls. Yes, hotdogs have been consumed, beer has been imbibed. They tell me there still have some stuff left if I want to come over, but there's nothing more depressing than eating a past-its-prime weenie. I needed it right off the grill, not all shriveled up like your Great Uncle Earl.
So, yeah, I made all the new promises to myself: get a second set of keys, maybe leave one in the car or at a nearby friends house, blah blah blah... It remains to be see if i follow through. I mean, crisis over, out of sight out of mind. Perhaps it would be easier to leave a spare grill outside my front door for emergencies...