It’s been a really average month.
I met a guy I thought was incredible and after a top five whirlwind romance very rudely had all my expectations of him and our future life together mercilessly aborted.
I haven’t had my regular energy and professional motivation. I am completely broke–like $4 in my bank account broke–and swimming in debt from medical bills. Everything ran out at once: cat food, dish soap, shampoo.
I’ve called the wahmbulance at least 12 times, which is excessive, even for a skint-ass 20-something writer living in New York City and using body soap to wash the dishes.
Life has been quietly and consistently shitting on me. It hasn’t been an explosive diarrhea, but more like a gentle hail of tiny pellets raining on my head, falling with a hollow rhythm–with the torturous cadence of a clock ticking or a tap dripping. It’s not like one catastrophic, climatic disaster has occurred, something I can identify as the sole cause of my despair, obsess over for a week, and then move on from strategically; it’s just sort of been a constant nagging of one small thing piling up on top of the next, and me always clawing my way to the top of the pile lest I get an arm or leg stuck under the detritus of crap and have to 127 Hours myself.
As though I were post-Emily Ross, just when I feel things start to plateau, someone goes and eats my damn sandwich. My life has become a tragic comedy of errors in which I’m half drunk, hammering a doorknob at midnight in my underpants in a haze of smoke from burned popcorn with my neighbor banging on the door while my cat tries to escape. Its absurd; both as tragic and ridiculously hilarious as it sounds.
I’d just found out that I’d been left out of an event by some friends because of one particular girl’s desire to totally ruin my life, and as the friend who let the information slip told me not to be upset, I felt my bottom lip tremble like a highschool girl that’s just realized the only reason she was invited to the party in the first place was so someone could maliciously push her into the pool in front of everyone. My friend hugged me goodbye and I, three vodkas deep, buried my hands in my pockets and ignored the single, cinematic tear that rolled melodramically down my cheek as my legs propelled me home.
“Everything will be OK,” I told myself, “It’s not the end of the world. It’s not even the end of anything. Nothing really that bad has even happened. Just get home and take off your pants and make some popcorn and watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and you’ll forget all about it.” You would have thought my logic and game plan was water tight. Little did I know, the universe had already cracked the popcorn and was settling in for a night of LOLs courtesy of The Kat George Show.
In my room I undressed, and in a show of serious petulance, I left my clothes strewn on the floor by my bed, instead of immediately folding and storing them as I normally would. I even kicked a sock. I put on my favorite bed time t-shirt, a promotional New Girl shirt I got on the street at SXSW that says “Can We Just Take A Second To Celebrate Me? – Schmidt” on the front, and decided to forego pants. In my vagenius t-shirt and knickers, I sauntered out of my room, letting the door shut lightly behind me.
I washed my face, did a pee, and poured some corn kernels into a pot, turned up the heat, put on the lid, and poured myself a glass of water. Deciding to preemptively take the water into my room because I’m normally too uncoordinated to carry more than one thing at a time, I made my way back to my bedroom, and twisted the doorknob of the now closed door. It didn’t open. I stared at the gold knob down by my hip, my hand wrapped around it. This wasn’t the first time I’d unsuccessfully fiddled a knob.
I twisted it again; nothing. Already frustrated, I began violently jiggling the knob. As the pop corn began noisily popping in the pot, the atmosphere became frantic as it started settling in that somehow my bedroom door had magically locked, and I couldn’t get back in. Trapped inside my room was everything that I needed–my keys, my phone, my wallet, my computer, my pants–my life. Possibly my dignity too. And I was locked outside, banging on the door, desperate to get back in as the smell of burnt popcorn filled the purgatory I’d accidentally got myself stuck in.
My first thought was to calm the fuck down and think rationally. Rational me procured a knife, and attempted to insert it into the little slit on the front of the knob, a crude attempt to pick the lock. Obviously, nothing so elegant was going to work. I tried the same thing with the flat head of a screw driver and found myself similarly disappointed.
Standing back and assessing my rival, I thought maybe I’d be able to force my front facing, street level window open, which seemed like a great solution, apart from the fact that I wasn’t wearing pants. My eyes peeled around the room in Terminator mode, assessing my options, but the largest towel was tea sized, and I don’t even own a table cloth. So I did the next best thing available to me and stripped the bulky, heavy couch cover off and wrapped it around me. I struggled to hold the thick, puckering material around my body as I propped open first my apartment door, and then the building security door, and made my way around to the front of the building.
Opening the bars on our fire escape window, I attempted to push up the glass with one hand. Realizing exactly how inept and weak I am, I bunched up as much of the couch cover under my chin as I could, pressing it down against my chest to free up my second hand. The window wouldn’t budge. “Great,” I thought, “At least no rapists can get in.” That’s how I try to live my life you see: by the reasoning of a silver linings playbook. It was all I could do not to break out in dance.
Back inside the apartment, I started freaking out. Using a hammer, I started beating the door knob, with no apparent strategy. It didn’t budge. I took out the screw driver again and tried to wedge it in the side of the door–like the credit card trick–but as I pushed, the cheap wood of the door just softened under the pressure and cracked. Sweating now, the smell of three vodkas finding its way out of my armpits, I stood back again, crossed my arms, fingered my chin between my thumb and forefinger, and tried to think creatively and resourcefully.
After a moment of quiet contemplation, I gave the door my best swift, hard karate kick while screaming out “HI-YA!” Nothing happened. I thought about every time I’d seen someone kick down a door in a movie, and it occurred to me that the karate kick was my first mistake. On shows like Law & Order the detectives would always lead with their heel; so I gave the door another kick, this time front on and heel heavy. The wood cracked a bit, but the door was still closed and locked.
Close to tears now, I took the screwdriver and hammer back in my hand, and wedging the end of the screw driver under the doorknob, I began beating it with the hammer in a bid to knock the knob straight off. Surprisingly, this was actually a good idea, although I was still drunk enough that I kept missing and nearly hitting myself myself in the face on the upswing.
So there I was at midnight in my old lady knickers and my “Celebrate Me!” t-shirt, chipping away at the door knob like it was my own personal David when there was a knock at the door. Peering through the peephole, I saw my disgruntled neighbor, hands on hips, looking very tired and annoyed. In the gust of air from the door I swung enthusiastically open, I spoke first, and fast, “I’m so sorry about the noise I locked myself out of my room by accident and I put on the couch cover because my pants are in there to go and try the window but it didn’t work and I kicked it and that didn’t work so now I am slowly hammering my way in.”
Within seconds, my neighbor was just as neurotically invested in getting through the door as I was. She fussed about, going back and forth from her apartment and bringing yet more implements for us to use, texted people for advice, and offered me pants. Eventually, we decided to go back to the hammering, and in between my off-aim swings, and non-sequitur ranting (and her watching from a safe distance, probably mesmerized by the crazy lady screaming at her cat to “sit” every time he tried to sneak out the front door, and wondering what the fuck she got herself into), I heard the knob on the other side of the door hit the ground.
I paused, gripping the handle on my side of the door. I turned to my neighbor, wide-eyed. “Pull it!” she croaked, and with a little pull and a jiggle, the knob came free. Squealing gleefully, I used the back side of the hammer to knock out the lock contraption and the door swung unceremoniously open as my cat sauntered past me and jumped up on the bed, completely disinterested in the whole affair.
After I thanked my neighbor and saw her out, I collapsed on the floor in an very ungraceful sort of child’s pose, still gripping the hammer, knuckles almost dead white. I could feel my heart pulsating in my ears. Willing myself to stand, I took the pot of sort-of-burned, damp, cold pop corn and poured it into a bowl. Zombie-like, I got into bed and put Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on my laptop and propped it on my knees. With the battle scarred door still swinging on its hinges, I sat in bed shovelling the disgusting soggy popcorn into my mouth, wetting my fingers to catch the salt falling in my cleavage and then licking them clean again. With my cat drooling on my arm, watching TV and feeling drunker than I did at the start of the ordeal, I thought “Man, you really can’t write this shit.”