Monday, August 29, 2011

My First and Last Trip to the Balcony

Last week (Tuesday or Wednesday) it was beginning to rain in Houston. Can you believe it? I went out on the balcony to see if I could salvage a pair of shoes I had thrown out there. Said shoes had dog poop on them from about six months ago when I took a friend's dog out for a walk. That is how long it has been since we have had a good rain, to my knowledge.This was the first time I had actually walked out onto the balcony, and it will be my last.

Not thinking, I closed the sliding glass door behind me, thinking it was the screen door. As soon as I closed it, I knew I had made a major mistake. Click, thud. The Charlie bar came down and locked me out, on the balcony, all alone. J was not coming home that night. Couldn't reach her. I was stuck. We face another apartment complex and a bank. There are never any people below, but I yelled over the edge for the hell of it, "Help!" No one was around. No one answered. I began to panic a bit. I threw one of said shoes down below to try to hit our downstairs' neighbor's window. Missed the window. I saw something in their window that said, "Texas A & M." I began yelling, "Hey, Texas A & M! Hey, Aggies!" No reply.

I called the apartment complex, even though it was nighttime and I knew they don't do lockouts. The lady answering the phone said, "We only do lockouts for elderly and disabled people." I said, "Does 49 and a half count?" I was trying to keep my sense of humor. She finally called someone from the other side of town and told me to be patient. She said he would drive out here, go to the office and get our key.

I waited for what seemed like eternity. I was tempted to surf Facebook or play solitaire on my phone, but my phone battery was low. We are on the second floor. Trust me, if there had not been an endless concrete wall below, I might have jumped while waiting. Later, I finally heard someone at our front door, trying over and over to open it with a key. He could not get in. "How stupid," I thought to myself. "He can't get in the apartment!" I had locked the deadbolt lock from inside. I was literally locked outside from the inside.

I heard the nice man, Mike, from down below the balcony, "Hello! I can't get in your front door. The dead bolt must be locked." When I asked him how he planned on getting me down, he said, "I think we should call the fire department." I yelled down at him, "Don't call the fire department! I'm already embarrassed enough!" What made it worse was that the apartment manager called me and laughed. She found the situation quite humorous.

I told Mike, "I have a metal chair up here. Shouldn't I just break a window?" He advised me not to, stating that it would add to the cost of my rescue. He said he would find a tall ladder, put it in the flower bed on the first floor and cut a small hole in our front bedroom window so that he could unlock it and go in that way. As luck would have it, the bedroom window was unlocked. It doesn't seem safe, but I was quite relieved. I'm pretty sure that a burglar with a long extension ladder would have been noticed if one had ever tried to break in.

Long story over, "Mike" got in an saved my life. I say that because if I had not had my cell phone with me, I would not have been found until morning when I hadn't shown up for work. If I had needed medication overnight or had a heart attack or anything serious, I would possibly be dead by the time someone had found me. Anyone wondering if a Charlie bar works or not, trust me, it does. And now I cannot even go near the balcony door. And I still do not find the situation humorous.

1 comment:

greg said...

I got freaked out just reading that. Thank goodness for your cell phone...and for Mike!