Growing up, there were bars on our basement windows. They were the ones that could be quickly and easily released from the inside, but couldn’t be penetrated from the outside. Even so, I always felt trapped.
Those bars were the main reason why I never moved down to the basement*. Well, it may have also been due to the fact that the room needed a coat of paint first and I like painting about as much as I like bars on the windows. They bothered me. That much.
So here’s the thing about Mexico, everything here has bars. The windows. The doors. The windows in the doors. Everything.
The difference between these bars and the ones in Canada are that these aren’t the quick release kind. In fact, they don’t release at all. However, if you had to get out, you could. Provided you had a few hours and a hacksaw. Doesn’t everyone have a hacksaw?
If you throw in the fact that our front door also has 3 double locks and 2 drop bars, it’s safe to say that no one is coming in. That’s the point isn’t it?
Before you get all worried about a fire, don’t. Everything is made of cement and the Bomberos spend their days collecting money at the side of the road and making house calls to people’s homes to fill up their tinacos. If there’s ever been a fire, we haven’t heard of it.
Generally, I try not to think about the bars.
Except when Ed goes away. Then, I spend every waking moment (literally) worrying that I will be locked OUT of the house. In order to put my mind at ease, I take his set of keys, the only other set next to mine and hide it on the main floor. Our house is a duplex (up/down) so if I needed the keys, I could get them. I would need to gain access to my neighbours roof, scurry across my teja overhang and into the main floor. Don’t ask why we just don’t make an extra set and give it to someone.
This January, when Ed went away, my plan went off without a hitch; I woke up, put the dogs downstairs and hid his keys, went back upstairs, double locked the front door, closed the door to the front room and went about my business. Note that we’d started double locking the door because The Kids had decided it was fun to open the door. Whenever and to whomever. While it’s safe where we live. We have bars on everything for a reason.
A few hours later, my neighbour called for me through the window. We chatted. She headed off. I forgot to mention something to her so I ran to the front door. Tried to open the door but it was locked. No problem. I’ll unlock it. Only, I couldn’t find the keys. They weren’t in the door. The keys were gone.
I WAS LOCKED INSIDE THE HOUSE.
I started to run from room to room. Frantically crying out “Where are they? Where are the Keys”? Sensing my desperation, Max tried to help out by telling me he’d dropped them outside. OUTSIDE!? I tried to look but it was impossible to see them. The door opens up onto a big step. Down.
I started to count the days until Ed would be back. Seven, eight, nine days. Did I have enough food? Could I last that long locked inside? Not just physically but emotionally.
I was trying to hold it together but I was terrified. Assuming I could get someone on the roads attention, would they understand my Spanish enough to get a Balconero to come and free me?
After what seemed to be 20 minutes but was probably 2, I saw them. On the table. Right where someone had left them.
I was free. Free from this place that I call Home.
Have You Ever Been Locked Inside Your House or Somewhere?
*Note Poppa used to live in the basement when he was a teen. Yes, Poppa grew up in the house that I grew up in and Uncle Andrew still lives in. It’s been in our family since the early 50’s.
— Journeys of The Zoo (@zoojourneys) February 8, 2016