Friday, August 6, 2010
In Which Ada Becomes Trapped in a Crawl Space
It’s been one of those weeks. You know, where there’s so much going on and half of the stuff going on is stuff that needs to get done and the other stuff just looks really fun so you start getting up way too early to get all your work done and end up feeling like headache-y mess by the time 9 p.m. rolls around. It’s been kind of like that.
It’s been one of those weeks when you realize you’re probably so sluggish and cranky because you haven’t actually eaten anything in six hours. Where you start looking forward to a return to work because you need some peace and quiet after your days “off.” It’s been one of those weeks when it’s hard to look at your life with any sort of perspective.
After getting a large freelance project out the door yesterday morning, I felt better suited for a nap than a day at work. But since I innocently skipped across the magical bridge to adulthood land a few years back, I had no choice in the matter. Off to work I went.
Luckily, we were too busy at work for me to dwell on my sleep deprivation and before I knew, the day had slipped by. At closing time, I took down the bird feeders and brought them to the building’s crawl space, where we store them overnight to avoid tempting the neighborhood black bears. I lifted the latch on the outside of the crawl space’s door and stepped into the small, low space to set down the bird feeders.
Then the big gust of wind came. In a split second the crawl space door slammed shut. I pressed against the door. It had latched.
And I panicked. The pity steadily overcame the panic. I was so tired and hungry and the crawl space was dark, damp, smelly and the only thing to eat were some suet cakes and bird seed. I had to use the bathroom. I didn’t want to spend the next two hours it would take for Andy to think to come look for me with the mice in the crawl space of a historic lodge on the edge of the Boundary Waters.
I knocked lightly on the door, knowing no one was near enough to hear such a feeble declaration of my predicament. There was a thumb-sized peephole directly beneath the metal lever which had fallen in the latch. I wiggled my fingers through the hole, trying to push the lever up and out of the latch. Then I tried kicking. I kicked one, twice, and on the third time the door sprung open and I emerged into the sunlight. The whole ordeal took about 30 seconds, but it was just enough to time to make me realize that I’d rather be out in the daylight having “one of those weeks” than trapped in a dingy crawl space.
It all reminded me of how Jimi Hendrix sang: “I used to live in a room full of mirrors, all I seen was me. Well I can’t stand it no more, so I smash the mirror and set me free.” It wasn’t really that dramatic, but it kind of felt like it.