Over the weekend, I got it in my mind to paint the inside of my apartment door. I painted it orange. But that’s not the real news.
(Well, it kind of is because I used the wrong shade of orange paint when I meant to use a lighter shade.) The real news is in what ensued after painting it.
I was so proud of myself. (I’m not much of a painter) I taped off the door and put brown paper on the floor (I drip a lot too). I was prepared. (Instead of what I usually do, which is grab a can of paint and a brush and immediately go to town, dripping all the way.)
But what about the ugly gold
cheap, and very old door knob and lock? Well, I decided I’d just get my meager tools and take them off. As I did, I watched how they came off to see how everything went back in. Looked like a breeze.
I took them outside and spray painted them white. I thought about black, but then with an orange door, it would look like Halloween year round. Believe me, the bright orange is enough to blind you!
At the end of the day, I had applied four coats of paint. It was on the fourth coat that I realized that I had used the brightest orange paint instead of the Orangella, which has more peach in it. Don’t know if I’ll repaint it or not.
See? VERY bright orange.
Moving right along.
My door knob and lock was dry, and it was nearing dark. I have to do my yoga stretching, take a shower, then eat supper and feed the dogs, in that exact order. (Truly, in that exact order every single day.)
So I went to work putting the knob and lock back in place. Except…the screws kept going round and round. I took the thing off probably 75 times and tried to figure it out. Seemed there was more to putting on a door knob and lock than I thought.
Well, most of you would think, that’s not a disaster.
Except my gate off the patio in back had a padlock on both sides. I had the key to the inside lock on my key chain. But the other key I keep in my Pathfinder console.
So I call my neighbor Charlie. He comes over and tries to help, but we quickly learn that I have also locked the storm door.
So here I am, literally locked into my place with no way of getting out unless I wanted to shimmy through the windows. I could go out on the patio, but I couldn’t exit the patio because of the lock on the other side, and the fact that the key to it is in my car out front.
I call Kay. Can she think of any ideas? I didn’t figure she could. But what looms ahead of me is trying to explain this predicament the next day to Volare (not sure how it’s spelled, but it is pronounced vol-are-a) the Russian maintenance man, who doesn’t really “get me” to start with.
“You paint a lot,” he mumbles when he’s here to fix something. And shakes his head.
When I first told him last week that I was thinking of painting the door, he said: “But it’s painted.” I told him I knew that, but I thought the white was just too plain. He just stares at me. I wonder what he’s thinking, but am too afraid to ask.
The next morning, Kay drives from the nearby town she lives in. I stand at the front window and use my remote to unlock my car. She rustles around till she finds the key that goes to the outside lock on the patio gate. She then has to drive all the way out of here, around the business behind me, to get to my gate.
Then she goes in pursuit of Volare. I watch from the window as she catches up to him down the way.
I don’t know what she said to him. But I’m sure he was trying hard to figure out how on earth I had managed to do something this patently ridiculous.
Hey, I was too.
It seems I had ruined the door knob in my earnest pursuit to fix it.
Volare had to put on another knob. It was a used one, I could tell. He asked me if I wanted to paint it first.
“Why, yes,” I said to him. “I think I will do that.”
He has stopped being surprised at what he is called here for. He just does not understand my ideas, which appear to me to be easy peasy. And yet I have to call him so often to bail me out.
I’m sure life in Russia was vastly different. A few weeks ago, he told me that his daughter, one of six children, works cleaning house for a rich man here in Tulsa. The house the man resides in is 10,000 square feet.
Volare told me that his daughter says this man is very unhappy. He does not understand this.
“Why he unhappy?” he said to me. “He lives in 10,000 square foot house.”
I tell him that a big house and a lot of money does not make one happy.
He looks at me askance. America is so complicated.
So I have a question for you. When you paint a door, are you supposed to leave it open while you paint it? Shut it? Take it off the hinges?