My Sister’s Locksmith

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

Lady riding a bus. Photo: Byron Motley

A while ago my sister had to confront some rather unpleasant circumstances related to the theft of several appliances from her house. She immediately contacted a locksmith who changed all the combinations to the locks in her home.

As my sister is a very enterprising woman, she quickly replaced all the items stolen. However, she wanted to swap her house (a colonial-style structure with a high ceiling and tiles on the roof) for an apartment in a type of multifamily building known here as a “micro-brigade” property.

She argued that maintaining a roof like the one where she lived was an indulgence in a romanticism that’s not very affordable these days.

Of course once she moved to her new apartment she headed straight out in search of the locksmith who she had hired in the aftermath of the burglary. Since this fellow has so many customers, he didn’t remember her, but even still he told her that he would go to her place.

“I’ll go in front and you go behind!” he indicated to my sister with an open smile, as he pedaled off on his bicycle.

She was a little nervous because she had left her apartment in the hands of a neighbor who she hardly knew. Still, the locksmith would be there at any moment to solve the problem, she thought.

Then she “saw the skies open up,” as the popular expression goes.

Advancing along the way back to her apartment, just at the place known as the “haunted tree,” she had become aware of something that she hadn’t thought about before – undoubtedly the result of her rush to take care of the matter of the locks.

At that moment she recalled another old saying that goes: “Dress slowly so that you can leave fast.”

She looked from one side to the other but didn’t see any sign of the locksmith anywhere. Putting her hands on her head, and perhaps a little embarrassed — as one is when they commit some act of stupidity — she asked herself aloud: “But how’s he going to go in front and me behind if he doesn’t have my new address?”