Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A morning of great woe and gnashing of teeth

I moved this morning. Yesterday afternoon I booked a van to arrive at 9am, one of those man-with-a-van ads regularly posted to craigslist.com and on coffee shop bulletin boards around town. I got up at 8am, did my thing, called the van guy at a quarter till 9 to make sure everything was on track. No answer. No sweat, I thought.

Roughly 8 calls and 45 minutes later, still no van. I finally get a callback from van-man Joseph, who says he's running late, it's gonna take another 45 minutes at least. No apology even. Normally I'm a pretty understanding guy, but now I'm pissed.

So I call a car service, get an SUV to come. They're not really in the moving business, but the driver is an amiable Ecuadorean who agrees to help me out for a big tip. He helps me load, and we chat in Spanish on the way over to Scholes St., which he pronounced "Skoles."

After he drops me off, I take the first load up to the apartment. The place is still kind of a mess, with plaster on the floor and some spots that need to be re-painted, but that was to be expected -- the cleaning crew isn't arriving until this afternoon. Still, not a sight for sore eyes.

I drop my bags and head back out, only to find that the door had shut. And the knob was loose. I turned and turned, but the knob didn't engaged the latch. I was locked in my own fucking apartment.

I take a card out of my wallet, not a credit card, something that won't be missed if tragedy strikes again: my Stanford ID card. I tried to slip it through the gap between door and wall, to hook the latch and free myself. No dice. I realized no matter how long I kept trying to slide a piece of plastic through a door jamb from the wrong side, it wasn't going to work.

I look around the kitchen for a screwdriver, something, anything to pry open the lock mechanism. Nada. I have my cell phone, but everyone I know in the area is hours away, at school or work or on a plane. I go out to my third-floor balcony to see if I can climb down, throw myself into a garbage dumpster, or, barring any other ideas, hang myself from electrical wires.

Down below is the Super, Moses, who lived up to both his title and his name. After a little hollering, he delivered me unto the promised land of New York urban grit and grime, freed again from my insidious apartment.

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