helen was there. she asked (me for the second time) if we have trouble getting our new mailboxes open. though i mastered opening ours during the first week many months ago, i felt the need to assure her by saying “why, yes. it’s as if you have to hold the key lower than you think it should go.” i clucked my tongue and shook my head slowly from side to side to indicate the mailboxes should be ashamed of themselves for treating us in this inferior way.
wishbone had been frightened by this encounter and retreated back up the staircase. helen asked if she had let wishbone out the front door already. we explained, loudly, that he had gone back up. brian stepped his way to the landing and set the two trash cans down as he tried to coax wishbone back down the stairs and past us. once the mission was accomplished, helen asked: “now where did those trash cans come from?” never you mind that she didn’t remember passing them on her way down nor did she remember brian carrying them in while she greeted us.
then they toodled along on their merry way.
that following monday around 10am as i sat happily by the open window working on my laptop from bed, i heard helen hollering, as my grandmother says, for wishbone. eventually, a neighbor asked what the ruckus was about. helen explained she was looking for her dog. i suppose the neighbor eventually decided to check upstairs and i heard helen asking up the stairwell after him/her whether she had locked the door. if she had, wishbone was still up there to unlock it.
two days ago, i finally left our condo to run an errand around 2pm. i noticed helen’s door was ajar and i quickly fled. upon my return, it was still in the same position. i hesitated knocking for fear she might be in there or might be dead or i might have to lock and shut the door only to discover she was on a lengthy walk with wishbone and didn’t have the key (considering she’s not exactly famous for high-functioning relationship with keys).
instead, i emailed brian, called him State Farm, and informed him he should check on her upon arriving home from work. sucker that he is, he did. first, he peeked on the balcony side and noted that her blinds were shut (i already knew this, but let him continue to think he had given me important information). we discussed how there was no wishbone barking and reminisced that she had mentioned going on vacation. brian checked her front door and noticed the “safety chain” was activated. he theorized helen had “safety chained” the front door and left by the back door thusly creating a wind-tunnel effect which managed to blow the front door open. never you mind that all she employed to lock her front door was a “safety chain” before leaving on vacation.