Fire-escapes can be scary (especially when wet)

27 Sep

As faithful readers know, I’ve been working around the clock non-stop for the past few weeks. I was supposed to meet someone for lunch yesterday, but was so exhausted I had to take a raincheck and ended up sleeping most of the afternoon.

Meanwhile there was the Traffic Conference going on across the bridge in Brooklyn. I had at least a dozen people I had wanted to meet, but with the grind on, had been unable to make it there to say hi.

So I got a message from someone demanding that I come out with him and a buddy for dinner. He hammered me until I acquiesced.

I have also started working out again after my three-month break due to Argentina. Having worked on the chest yesterday, and arms and legs today (I do A-B-break), and not being used to working out, my arms were sore.

So that sets the scene.

So I head on out in my comfy jeans and loafers, walk out the door, hear it click behind, and … oh hell, I’ve forgotten my keys. I find the super’s # on the door downstairs, give it a call … only to find out that the ‘super’ really is the guy who cleans the building, and then his daughter tells me that they have no keys and that I should call Pedro. Pedro’s phone #? She doesn’t know … just call “Pedro.” Great.

Now my apartment is on the second floor, and has a fire-escape staircase.

For those that have never been on a fire-escape staircase, it is scary. In the actual space you walk across, there are just five metal bars below you, and that is it. Nothing to hold onto to your left or right. Look at the top – when you walk across that, there is no railing, and it is really thing.

Now imagine going on smooth painted metal that is slippery from constant rain, and me wearing loafers that give me zero grip.

So I climb up the ladder, up the stairs, rather uncomfortably so. And there is my office window, with the trust AC in it. I manage to raise the window (remember – my biggest concern right now is not slipping and falling into the hole), but there is not enough space for me to slip inside. Half my body is inside, the other half stuck outside.

Eventually I have one foot on the window sill, one arm holding the AC, and one arm holding the window (if it falls, it crushes me, and I fall, and I get hurt bad). All the while my dog is barking and jumping up and down like crazy, as if we are playing some great little game.

So I end up having to use my one arm, dig my fingers into the side of the AC, and lift it up and put it down (it is 3 feet off the ground and a foot ‘deep’).

Imagine it. Arms and legs sore and burning, one foot on the wet sill, one foot on the wet fire escape, one arm slowly lifting and putting down an AC by the finger tips, and one arm keeping the damn window open. Muscles completely tense and the only thought that is in my head is “If I slip let go of the AC and grab onto anything as fast as you can).

I managed to softly drop the AC, get the entire floor wet, and staggered in to live and tell my story!

1 Response to Fire-escapes can be scary (especially when wet)



September 27th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Glad to see you made it alright!

Make sure to find out who Pedro is for next time (hopefully, of course, there won’t be a next time) :-)