February 22nd, 2010
I really shouldn’t listen to Amy Winehouse when I am alone. Her particularly variety of sullen music really speaks to the broody side of me that likes to dwell on the past and feel sorry for myself. Or perhaps it’s because Amy’s “Stronger than me” is what was playing on my laptop at my most recent bout of embarrassment.
The other day, was particularly cold, though not by Canadian standards; but there a violent wind. I saw my clothes blowing on their hangers, dangerously close to the edge. So while singing with Amy, I went out onto the balcony to take them down and bring them inside. But without thinking I closed the glass door behind me, and heard the latch lock. Damn it! There I was on the fifteenth floor, on one of the coldest days, locked outside. I started to fold my laundry to keep myself from panicking. At times like this an imagination is a real drawback, I start visualising myself falling off the edge and being found several hours in various versions of twisted corpse -arms broken at the shoulder behind me, legs crumpled underneath, or head turned Exorcist style. Or probably the worst was how I could feel the balcony braking under my weight and visualise the bolts coming undone and the whole teetering structure plummeting downwards. These moments, when I feel my heart racing, for reasons simply imagined, I wonder if I should tell people about them at all. Or would they just look at me with blank stares, wondering if I am on medication.
Luckily, however, I did have my purse with me. So after a few moment of deliberating what I should do, I called Lucy, another teacher who lives in my building, to ask for help. We planned that I would throw my keys down to her and then she could come into my apartment and free me. She went downstairs and I wrapped my keys in a sweater and put the bundle in a bag and threw it over the edge. But of course of all the places for the bag to land, it lands on the top of a tree. The next few moments were pretty comical, I saw Lucy shaking the trunk of the tree trying to free the bag. Next I saw her go to the storage closet to get a mop and try to poke it free. But the pole was too short.
But the next thing I could see, Lucy had the bag. And very soon after I was free; at which point, Lucy recounted how she was able to get the bag free. She went up to the security guard and told him the story. To which, he replied, in complete seriousness without a hint of surprise, “I will get the bamboo pole.” I wonder how many times this happens; well certainly enough times that the security guard has a bamboo pole just for the occasion.
Perhaps I am particularly impressionable, but I feel like I can completely change my mood by changing the music. Now with Lady Gaga as the background the whole fiasco seems hilarious.