Locked Out

Arriving at Justin’s, I find him outside, looking incredibly upset, wearing his slippers. He had come outside for a smoke, and locked himself out. We checked all the windows, and couldn’t find any good way to break in (without breaking something).

At his old place, a long time ago (back when I as still smoking), we had locked ourselves out of his apartment. What ensued was an hour and a half journey into MacGyver-land. We found a long pole, used duct tape and attached a molded wire coathanger into some kind of hook-like device. His windows were open, but there were a few locks on the inside; we could open the windows, but only abou two inches. We were able to snake the pole into his room, move aside a few objects (like his coffee maker), and successfully hooked his keys.

Today, no such pole, no such MacGyver heroics, no such luck.

I walked down to the local coffee shop and looked up some locksmiths. The girl behind the counter was super nice, and told me to "go ahead and rip out the pages." I took them down the street to a laundry-mat, which was the closest payphone nearby. As I was looking up the closest locksmith, these two women asked to go ahead of me and make their call.

One woman dialed the number for what sounded like a hospital. The other stood to her left, and began making a lot of facial moves and gestures and such. Both women were in their mid-to-late 30’s. The woman on the phone was completely professional sounding, and spoke clearly and eloquently. But it was evident that she was going through a series of predetermined comments, and was taking cues from the pantomiming friend on her left. At times, the friend made numbers with her fingers, pointed to her forehead, waved "no" frantically with both hands, and clutched her stomach. From a stranger’s standpoint, it sounded like they were involved in some kind of insurance fraud – they were discussing tests and procedures and something like that over the phone.

When they hung up, they both laughed and started walking out the door.

The woman who was on the phone looked back at me and said "Playing hooky! That’s how you do it!"

I picked up the warm receiver, and dropped in a quarter.

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