Locked and Blocked

My 2012 is not off to the greatest of starts. There is some reason I was sitting outside my apartment last night watching a man grind into my lock instead of eating ramen with my friend in Brooklyn. I just have yet to discover what that golden slice of redemption is.

Here is a little piece of what I scribbled sitting on cold terrazzo, my back against a door that refused to magically open despite all of my will behind it.


There is nothing else I can do. I called the locksmith. I can’t erase the past.
Done. Done. Done.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
The flood of anger at myself washes over in waves of heat rising from my breastplate and burning up to the tops of my ears. If I had a cane I would beat myself with it. Pain, physical pain, is preferable to the ceaseless screaming of “stupid!” in my head.
All the “should have known better”s aren’t going to help now though are they?
Hello, I am fallible.
I err therefore I am.

Even now thinking about it I shake my head and grunt at myself. My arms get all hot and prickly and I taste a little drop of adrenaline on the sides of my tongue. I’m so very angry with myself.

I continue to castigate, chastise and curse my complete stupidity. Knowing that it was an avoidable situation, I replay those costly 5 seconds over and over and over in my head.

Why didn’t I triple check my keys? I was crazy about it on my run in the morning, why didn’t I confirm that I had the whole set before walking out the door? I should have picked up the spares and dropped them in my purse as I thought about days ago.

Because yes, the real kicker is that I made the exact same mistake 5 days ago. Same feelings of complete frustration and helplessness. Same string of curses. The same self-berating.

Then, I was luckily was able to fetch the spares. Last night, the spares were sitting inside the locked apartment — my friend’s apartment no less — along with mine. Despite my best intentions at my first failing, all of those reminders and running internal dialog to check and recheck, I effed up again.

One 5 second failing. One little shiny object. One whopper of a bill.

“No one died,” she says and snickers at herself.

True. It cost time, embarrassment and, most of all, money. There are a great number of ways I would have preferred to spend that $400 but I didn’t have a choice. Yet it was fixable and I fixed it.

Drawn by the noise a number of neighbors came to check on me, bring with them kind smiles and assurances that “we have all done it once.” Cold comfort but a sweet gesture. The guy next door even offered a glass of wine which I thought was especially sweet and something to remember when someone mentions “mean, uncaring new yorkers” or says how the city is so unfeeling.

My drill wielding hero (mercenary?) even commented on the shows of camaraderie and offered that he does about 5 of the jobs a night.

Ok. “It happens to everyone.” Indeed.


Last night, however, it happened to me and, despite sitting comfortably back in said apartment with new keys on rings and cup of coffee in my hands, I’m relieving it and letting it be a block.

It was the excuse to still trudge off for ramen alone and sulk before returning home (click click voila) to pout on the couch and read with the latter half of a black-and-white cookie instead of accomplishing the writing and web stuff I wanted to.

This morning, metal shavings still in the doorframe like the confetti of a fabulous fete, the blah-feeling of disappointment in myself and hangover of an extended pity party lurks around like an unwanted guest.


I need to figure out how to forgive myself my mistake and move the hell on.

I’m starting with deep breaths, a cup of coffee, and writing this. Then I’ll write another “I’m a complete moron” email to my friend overseas. After that I’ll clean up the shavings and maybe try some meditation and a trip to MoMA. I should not let this one event taint my last days in my city.

I will let the past inform (check check check, ok I have keys) but keep moving forward.

The challenge I take up today is to not allow the moments of lapse and the blocks of self-criticism to weigh me down and hold me back.

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