It's about five to nine in the morning, and I have a meeting at nine. I successfully had organized all I needed for the day, I had opened some windows for the cats, I had even consumed a breakfast that required preparation. What I hadn't done was take my keys off of the chest of drawers in my room, and my expression of frustration and exasperation had corresponded directly with the usually reassuring click behind me as the door knob snapped into place in the frame.
Of course, it had to be the morning I had an important meeting to go to, set up by my boss, that was due to begin in about five minutes.
I was carrying about twenty pounds of stuff, and I had no choice but to walk to work--which isn't that far away, but extra weight paired with inhospitably warm and humid weather conditions made that task a chore to say the least. I cursed the whole way, but I made it. The only drawback was that I was by then wet enough to have been able to successfully vouch for a quick swim in the local river.
As soon as I got the door open, I met up with my boss who was also on his way to this meeting. This meant no opportunity to duck into a ladies room--or any room for that matter--to impose decency on my appearance. I walked into the room entirely conscious that I looked hideous.
About two hours later, I was back where I started.
I met up with one of my colleagues who was working in the basement and asked if he knew where I could find a step ladder. I had done the same thing a few months before, and my upstairs neighbor heard about it, brought down one of his own, and broke into my apartment through an unobserved window. If he could do it, I figured I probably could, too. I desperately hoped that it was one of the lower, more accessible windows that could be opened. A step ladder could not be immediately located, so I returned to my apartment hoping I wouldn't need one.
Of course, the easy-to-get-at windows were impossible to penetrate, no matter how hard I tried to do so. Walking around the side of the building, I noticed that one screen seemed to be slightly obscured from its track. Unfortunately, this window was high. I pulled out a recycling bin to hoist myself up and pushed up the screen. Now the window was open. I lifted myself on a nearby cement pillar, and I was close enough that I could pull myself through the window. As I raised myself up so I was level with the living room, Charlotte, my cat, who was looking at the new found potential source of freedom with deep consideration, spotted me. She was shocked--a classic "what the hell are you doing?!" look crossed her face--ears back, eyes wide, and she backed away from the window. I pulled myself through and collapsed on the floor.
Charlotte, however, retreated to under my bed where she had to mentally regroup from the shock of seeing "mom" climb in the window rather than coming through the door.
I immediately changed my sweat-covered, now dingied clothing in order to go back to work.
My only surprise--there were no messages or phone calls regarding a strange woman breaking into my apartment reported by either my neighbors or the police.