So I arrived back from my trip out West at around one in the morning (flight from Chicago delayed-- shocked! shocked! Not really). I hauled all of my crap down the walkway (two trips), and struggle with the perpetually persnickety lock as the chilly wind comes howling and whipping up Rock Creek Park, over the ridge and right up my coat. Finally open, the real challenge began: getting it shut again. I've already had several farcical incidents in which I've re-enacted scenes from the Wizard of Oz (playing Dorothy, of course) with the wind and this door. And it's never been a particularly easy door to deal with, but last night it was just recalcitrant. I fought with it for nearly ten minutes before I finally got it to shut and lock-- the locking part being the operative necessity. If it isn't locked, it blows open in the middle of the night and I am awakened from my slumbers by the sound of the door banging away and my apartment an icebox with all of the heat long since escaped into the ozone. So.
Today I headed off the gym, but not after a struggle with the door that had me making a mental note to myself that I needed to mention the door to the landlady. But not soon enough: when I got home from the gym and went through the song and dance of getting the door open and then attempting to shut it behind me it became obvious that the lock had sighed it's last sigh. It was completely dead-- stuck. The bolt part of the dead bolt refused to come out more than a quarter inch. I put the chain on it, but the wind immediately blew it open to the length of the chain, allowing freezing winds to blow through the two and a half inch crack between the door and door jamb.
I pushed it shut and then barricaded it with a chair. Left a message for the landlady. A while later, as I'm trying to get ready to go out, I hear someone in the garage-- I go out to find the maintenance guy. Yeah! Right on! He doesn't speak English, and I have no idea how to say "my lock is busted" in Spanish. I drag him to the door and show him. He sighs, and says in Spanish, "I don't have time for this." Well, hey, get in line, yo. He begins pointing at the garage door and saying something about using that. Which would be swell, except that I don't have a key. Luckily, I know how to say this. He runs off upstairs and comes back with a key. Yippee! I head off to meet up with some friends.
When I come back I discover his temporary (I hope?) solution.
Now that I have a key to get in the alternative way, he's nailed by door shut. Blinkblinkblink. Yes, he's nailed my door shut. There is a board over my door, nailing it shut. I feel like I'm in a zombie movie. Isn't that the last thing everybody does before the final onslaught? They start nailing doors and windows shut?