I did one of things you just shouldn’t do with a key. I tried to open something with it. Not a door, mind you, but a pull-down screen from our school’s video room. Someone had let it fly up to the top and it got lodged in the case like a bullet. I decided to use my skills of manual hability to retrieve it and did so by tugging as hard as I could on the strap that connected my hand to the handle. In my efforts, I managed to rip the handle out of the socket. The nylon cord and its hard-plactic hook at the end, and the handle of course, tumbled upon me. That really ticked me off, so I scrambled up atop a desk, reached in my pocket, and produced a good old-fashioned key with which to pry the thing out. I had performed a smilar operation months before and it worked perfectly. But this was a different key, and that had been a different screen. The metalic prong bent like it was made of aluminum, and when I tried to force it back into its original shape, it snapped. Now what?
Thes kinds of contraptions have been giving me hell all week. I have two wonderfully old doors that open my world up to balconies which I haven’t made much use of yet because for Madrid it is kind of chilly out there these days. That is why I keep them shut, though it doesn’t make much of a difference, because if there is one thing old doors are good at it’s letting the outside air in. It streams in from all over the place, slips through every seam in the joints. What initially appears to be a solid barrier between me and the exterior is actually a Trojan horse just waiting to invade the warmth of my home every night.
Finally I decided to put a sotp to it and I went to the local “chinos”, the five-and-dimes owned almost exclusively by the citizens of that country, and there I purchased some sealant, or caulk, as I learned it was called in English. It is pronounced almost exactly like the word for a rooster which is unfortunate because likes to enter a hormone-packed hardware store and announce, “I’d like some caulk, please.”
Thank God for the old “silicona”. I followed it up with a manly “and a gun too.”
I marched back to the apartment, and to the astonishment of my daughters assembled the equipment, ascended the ladder and layered the creases with a thick blob of gooey stuff. Then I spent the better part of an hour trying to remove it from the all the places it shouldn’t have been.
My daughters went back to their Nintendos rather less impressed. Typical.