A Bike and the Window



Sometimes things happen in my life that are worth recording. Most of these moments are only funny in retrospect.

First, let me set the scene:

Any of you who have watched my podcast – Quarrelsome Rhinoceros Stitches – or are friends with me on social media, or know me in person – will already know a little bit of this backstory… bear with me.

I live in a small city in the middle of nowhere. If you’re on my street, you are meant to be there… and I do not advocate doing any of the things I am about to relate to you.

I live in a house, with two roommates. Those two roommates and I don’t share the same sort of sleep schedule. I love being up late nights, to knit and watch Netflix. They are in bed early, and They’re also awake early. By the time I wake up, they’ve already gone through half of their day.

I also have a dog… Usually I take him out before I go to bed.

And the last important fact to know is that Monday is trash day.

This story takes place Sunday night, 11pm, in the middle of April, in Maine. It is 35 degrees outside.

The scene opens:

I like to multi task. I put Kelsier’s leash on, I grabbed my trash bag to put in the bin. I had done a bit of tidying, finally. It’s (kind of) spring cleaning season. I left my room, walked to the front door, and left the house.

Because I was distracted by the trash bag, the dog, and trying to close the door…

I didn’t twist the handle…. Just to make sure …

It was locked.

When the door latched, I immediately felt a pit form in the bottom of my stomach. I held my breath and slowly reached for the handle again.

No avail.

It was really locked


I’ve done it once before. It was the middle of winter. Wind chill made it feel like it was -19 degrees outside, This was also when there were two feet of snow on the ground. I managed to open my window and used a long shovel to get my keys from my bed because I had just forgotten them there. This time, I never had the intention of bringing my keys with me.

This time, there was no snow on the ground.

Half of me wanted to break down and cry. When I am in a stressful situation this is what happens. Part of me just wants to give up at the slightest inconvenience. If I ever listened to this half of me, I would have sat on my front porch, shivering and crying all night until my roommates got up in the morning.

The other half – the rational part of my brain – was glad I grabbed my winter coat before I left the house and tried to come up with solutions to my predicament.

Thinking quickly, I put my dog in my car – Luckily I didn’t lock the door when I parked it earlier that day. I live in a very quiet neighborhood, as I’ve already said and I don’t advocate leaving your doors unlocked. I was contemplating getting into the car, myself. My roommates had been in bed for at least three hours, and they had work in the morning. I really didn’t want to have to wake them up, and I couldn’t have texted them – I left my phone inside on my desk. I could even picture exactly where it was and where my keys were.

Instead of getting in the car, I checked the back door. It’s always locked, but I figured I’d give it a try.

It was, indeed, locked.

Kitchen window – also locked.

We don’t have a hide a key.

Now, my bedroom is on the corner of the house. It has two windows. One of them still has cling film to help keep heat in the winter – as spring has not actually … sprung yet, I kept the cling film on a little bit late. That one was impossible to climb through anyway. The bottom of the window sill… I couldn’t even reach it, standing next to it. So the window next to my bed was the best option. It had a shorter drop to the inside, and I didn’t remember it being very tall. It was how I managed to save myself before, after all.

I grabbed the shovel from my trunk, because it helped me the last time… So of course it would help this time.

When I got back to my window from the car, I realized that the bottom of my window is at least 6 inches taller than me.

Without the snow there was no chance of me climbing in, unaided.

I still pushed the window open – also not locked – again, do not follow my example. I don’t jump very high. I’m not good at climbing.

I looked around for solutions. I had a chair out there, one of those ones that fold up and have a cupholder. I think you use them for camping… My roommate has had a broken bicycle… the chain fell off… it was probably the better option. The camping chair is not very sturdy, or I didn’t feel like I’d be able to stand on it. Plus, my backyard is still fairly muddy from the thaw, so the bike… it was better.

I took the bike and put it under my window, and then I took my slippers off. The backyard was still muddy. My socks got pretty wet, but I didn’t think I would be able to get traction on the bike with the slippers. I climbed the bike to get into the window. It was still a little bit too tall for me. The window sill, I mean. So I somersaulted over the windowsill , onto my bed and almost pulled my curtains down at the same time.

But… I made it back inside.

I grabbed my keys, and rescued my dog from the car.

My life is ridiculous sometimes.

But I’m warm, and safe inside. I am just glad that my neighbors aren’t the incredibly nosy types that are also night owls. Otherwise my night could have been much more interesting…

The best part? After all that, I forgot to move the trash bin to the street…

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