Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lessons from a Certain Kind of Landlord

You've gotta hand it to our landlord. He is so consistent. He consistently consistently consistently disagrees with me about what constitutes necessary maintenance.

Take, for example, the lock on the door to the front building, just inside of which our bikes are stored, and slightly farther inside of which, I might also add, three other tenants are stored. (Our apartment is accessed via a different door.)

The lock doesn't work. In other words (and I include these words because he actually said "what do you mean by 'doesn't work'?"), when you put the key in the lock and attempt to turn it, such that the bolt slides across into its little house, it doesn't turn. Thus, the door does not change in status from unlocked to locked. (sarcasm mine)

I've been telling him that it "doesn't work" for months. I started in May. It's now September. He sent out a reminder to the tenants that it's important to lock the doors for security.

But none of this is why I'm writing. I'm writing because I noticed, thanks to said landlord, that I'm getting used to muscling my bike in and out of my living room, through the narrow passageway/mudroom, and up and down our deck stairs (which are covered in plants and other hazards). When I started this madness - the third time I found the front door standing wide open, inviting all who were interested to help themselves to a bike or two - I thought for sure it was going to drastically alter my biking habits. I'd be way too lazy to contend with the entering and exiting, much less the tripping over the thing once it was stashed inside our tiny living room.

To get it back in, for example, once I've been out for a ride, I have to stand beside the bike, lean forward beyond the handlebars, and open the storm door with my right hand while steadying the bike with my left. Then I tip my helmeted head against the storm door to hold it open wide enough to thread the handlebars through and shove the front wheel through the doorway. Once the front wheel is in, I thrust my right hip repeatedly against the back of the seat without moving my head so as to rock the back wheel enough to hop the heavier back end of the bike over the threshold and into the mudroom. I almost take a chunk of skin off some part of my body in the process.

But my point is that when I took it out this morning I didn't even think about it as a thing at all, which leads me to the unpleasant possibility that there are other things I whine and carry on about which, were I to just go ahead and do them a few times, would become not only tolerable but even just part of the fabric of the day. Or, better still, material.

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