This is a story about getting locked out. Now, that makes this sound like someone else did this locking out to me. We might learn that’s far from the truth by the end of this story. Or we might learn that it’s all about the wording.
Like every good story, you (as the reader) want to identify with me as the main character. My dad has said to me before (on several occasions), “Ashley, you are such a smart girl. But why are you so stupid sometimes?” Anyone else out there mastering the smartbutstupid way through life? Can a sister get an AMEN?
This should give you a sense of some of the choices I’ve made, or rather, struggles that I’ve endured. Again, choices would lead you to believe that I am the reason for this predicament of being locked out (for at least the fourth epic time in my history. Although, that rolls off the fingers like a very generous estimate).
One could say my mind is in the clouds, like Flannery O’Connor style where I’m just holed up for life with plot developments dancing through my head. After all, a good man is hard to find. When I see a man jogging down the street, I write about him bobbing up and down like an ice cube, and I make up stories about his wife dreaming about finally moving out of their starter home. And then I post these stories for you to read, and you laugh a little, and I am still over here wondering, “Am I the only one who gets locked out and can’t wait to spin the tale?”
In elementary school, you learn about setting the scene. And good transitions that move the story along. First, I am dog sitting. I have never owned a dog in my life. I am living with these two dogs, one a newly adopted puppy.
Needless to say, I am tired.
With a dense textbook in one hand (begging to be cracked open), my journal and a pen on top (priority? coincidence?), and a hot cup of coffee and my iPhone in the other hand, I jiggled the back door open in a balancing act that might remind you of Luke Danes trying to walk in heels while serving his diner customers Gilmore-style coffee.
At this point, the puppy decides he does not want to join us outside for a nice little dosage of Vitamin D. While doing the Luke Danes in heels shuffle, I decide that the puppy can just stay inside for a bit until he decides that it’s best for him to come outside with the rest of the jolly gang. And this is the part where the puppy learns he is smarter than the human.
I somehow manage to close the door. The removable doggy door is not removed. It is fully intact, as in closed to all outside intruders. I would like to take a moment to tell you that the door handle will trick you. From the inside, it moves around freely like every other door knob in the world that you use on a daily basis to get inside to the air conditioning on a hot Texas afternoon. Here’s the kicker: from the outside, the door knob is locked, as in closed to all outside intruders.
Obviously, I don’t even know I have a problem at this moment. I throw the ball to the dog that did decide to join me, and I grab a seat to think about diving into that textbook for some light reading. I read about two paragraphs of the assigned reading before deciding I should see if the puppy changed his mind. I go to turn the door knob. And I think you can take it from there.
No keys. No shoes. Hot coffee. Hot Texas sunshine. One iPhone with the number for the homeowners vacationing 16 hours away and without a hide-a-key.
While the puppy goes to sleep just inside the door, clueless to the developing drama just beyond the closed doggy door, I try to think like a burglar. Yes, if I were a burglar on trial for the charges of breaking and entering, I would place my hand on the Bible before taking the stand to confess to the judge, “I used a bobby bin/hair clip/pen/stick/rake to break into the home.” Of course, I would not say these things because none of them actually work to unlock a locked door. I tried the whole Matilda mind trick thing, but it still didn’t budge.
Are you sitting on the edge of your seat? Like with every good tale, readers just want to know the ending. The very happy ending.
If you hung with me to the end (or you’ve just scrolled to the end to find out what happens), I will leave you with this nugget. I am told that the best judge of your character is to think about what you do while you’re alone and no one else is watching. In my case, there was one dog watching, but we’ll pretend he doesn’t count.
I have learned a few valuable lessons, including that my first reaction is to channel my inner-burglar and check every window for a faulty lock. The good news is that I’m safe here; although, I do hope that a real burglar would have more skills than my Happy Meal size Hamburgler abilities. I have learned that I am starting to learn the value of keys and the value of friends with keys for access to places you would love to enter.
And to think, I knew I wanted to write today, but I just wasn’t sure what I would write about.
In conclusion, this is a story about getting locked out by a puppy or a tricky door knob or something, and the amount of time I spent writing in my journal, “I cannot believe I did this again. I can’t even make this story up.”
Sorry, Dad. I am safe inside with a key and two dogs. I promise I will never do it again.
Until next time,