A couple weekends ago I went out of town, planning for painters to come and paint my upstairs in my absence. I was excited to get that part of my house projects done and to return home to it completed.
Clearly, my expectations were too high. I came back to a poorly done and unfinished job as well as a rummaged through fridge (seriously guys!?). When I entered my room, I saw part of my door handle sitting on my nightstand. As I investigated the remaining handle on the door, I realized that the handle could no longer turn to open the door. Thus, if the door was closed and you were inside of the room, you couldn’t get out.
That’s a very important detail…
…and one that I didn’t remember until 11:00pm that night. When the door closed. And I was inside of the room.
Almost immediately after the door closed, I remembered. I tried in vain for 10 minutes to pry the door open with no success. At that point, panic entered.
I called my neighbor to see what my options were. Normally, no one else has a key to my place but luckily, another woman on our compound did thanks to her needing to open the door for the painters. My neighbor tried texting her and knocking on her door to no response.
I’m not one to get claustrophobic but…I’ve never felt more trapped in my life. I had no idea how long I would be stuck in my room. What if I needed to use the bathroom? Would I have to wait to be let out in the morning like a dog? The walls felt like they were closing in on me.
My mind was racing. I scanned my room, desperate to find something to help me get that door open. In that moment, I remembered an episode of Columbo when this woman was being held hostage by her stalker. He locked her into a room so she couldn’t get out but would come in to give her food. She used olive oil and a knife to pry the hinges off of the door.
I eyed the hinges. I had no olive oil or knife. Plus, I was pretty sure these hinges hadn’t been tampered with in 50 years.
I found masking tape and decided to MacGyver the handle back together in hopes that it would work again.
Yes, it’s true: in times of panic, I draw all of my heroic inspiration from 80’s sitcoms.
I channeled MacGyver’s mullet and taped that thing back together. Every time it didn’t work, I added more and more tape until finally…IT OPENED!
FREEDOM!! I can’t even tell you the relief! I almost cried.
I feel like I have a whole new appreciation for people in prison or animals in cages. It's the knowledge that you can't get out that's most disturbing.
Said from a girl who experienced a pansy 20 minutes of it.