It’s a Friday night, and after dinner I take out the trash and lock myself out of my apartment. The apartment manager’s not home, and I don’t expect her anytime soon since it’s a Friday night. The only other person who has my apartment key is in Chennai, India. My cell phone is locked inside. I’m wearing pajamas, and I have to pee.
After a few minutes of sitting alone outside, defeated, I suddenly realize I had opened my bedroom window a crack to let in some fresh air. It might be possible to break in by removing the screen.
I wade through weeds, spiders, and an abandoned toilet behind my classy apartment building. I pry the screen off with a small shovel, the only tool I can find on my porch, and drag my broken lawn chair to below the window. I hoist myself up and stick my head in to survey the landing area.
It is at this point that I realize I have just broken into my neighbor’s apartment. Yes, that’s right, they’d also opened up their window a crack to let in some fresh air and burglars. I quickly (and quietly) replace their screen and move on to the next apartment I need to vandalize.
By now I have it down. In less than five minutes, I successfully fall to my bedroom floor. I wonder if my neighbors have called the cops and whether they’re going to perform fingerprint analysis on the screen door. I try to decide whether I should waive my Miranda rights or ask for a lawyer. After putting clothes on and relieving myself, I go see if my neighbors are home. They are, and they inform me that they hadn’t heard a thing. I not only managed to break into two apartments within a half hour, I did it stealthily. I am thrilled to know I have other marketable skills besides editing, which is my day job. Imagine what I could do with some lock picks and a blowtorch.