reflections on breaking and entering

Let me walk you through a highlight of my recent trip to Boston, that happened shortly after my arrival.

I landed around 6:30 p.m. and took a cab to my best friend’s apartment, a converted house in Medford. Michelle and her room mates weren’t going to be home when I arrived, so she left her keys hidden under a trashcan for me to use when I arrived. I found the keys right away and entered the main foyer of the house, only to realize there were no numbers on any of the apartment doors…

I knew she lived in apartment # 3, which I deduced would be the door on the third floor. The only issue was that a small landing made it difficult to determine which level was, in fact, the third floor. Feeling optimistic, I schlepped my suitcase up three flights and stopped outside the door. I unlocked the door and stepped inside.

Immediately, something seemed a little off. I knew she lived with three other girls who she’d only recently met, but the place I’d walked into did not seem like a place where four females would reside. There was a lot of fancy abstract art on the walls, and it reeked of curry. This isn’t to say young ladies can’t dig some eclectic decorations and foreign cuisine, but my gut told me this was the wrong place. I then proceeded to panic, freeze and then dart back out the door with my luggage, slamming the door behind me.

Panting from the heat and the sinking suspicion that I was in the wrong place, I was relieved when I noticed another tenant leaving the apartment on the first floor. I called out to ask her which was apartment # 3, and she told me I needed to go up one more flight from where I was standing. Yeah – that’s right – I had just unlocked and wandered into a complete stranger’s home.

Wide-eyed and completely mortified, I climbed another flight of stairs and entered what I now knew was the correct place.

When Michelle and her room mates got home later that evening, they were delighted to learn that I had accidentally broken into their neighbor’s home. My faux paus led to the discovery that all the apartments in the building use the same master key, which is only slightly ridiculous. At any rate, it made for a good story, and Michelle now knows to always deadbolt her door.


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