An Open Letter To The Person In The Apartment I Broke Into

Dear Person Whose Apartment I Broke Into Thinking It Was Mine,

My bad. To be totally fair (to myself, not you), I was very drunk. You also live in the

building nextdoor to me, so this is really also kind of your fault. I had only been

living in my building for one week, our buildings have identical layouts, and my key

even fit in your door. I simply thought that in my inebriated state, I wasn’t strong

enough to turn the key. This could happen to anyone.

To be fair (again, to myself, not you), there were many ways this could have been

avoided. And I’m not talking about the two Manhattans, bottle of prosecco, and shot

of Maker’s that I consumed immediately prior to this mishap (I went to karaoke and

no one can expect to sing “Faded” by SoulDecision sober, so duh). I’m talking about

the fact that while trying to figure out why my key wouldn’t open the front door of

the building, someone from the building arrived and let me in. And that even though

your neighbor woke me from my slumber in the hall outside your door, he still

didn’t think it was weird when I explained that I was locked out of my (your)

apartment. Perhaps you should spend more time getting to know your neighbors.

It’s also worth noting that when I called a locksmith and told him my address, he

showed up outside your building. This is probably the most bizarre and unlucky fact

of the evening, even more bizarre and unlucky than my rendition of “Creep” from a

few hours earlier.

To once again point out your apparent lack of neighborly interactions, the man in

the apartment next to yours popped out his head when he heard the locksmith

drilling into your door, yet he said nothing. This did, however, remind me that I

don’t live nextdoor to a middle-aged man. I hadn’t yet met my neighbor, but I knew

she was named Michelle and I had run into her boyfriend once. This guy was not


It was after this second appearance from your neighbor that I, in a slightly more

sober state, started to more closely examine my surroundings. Everything seemed

exactly as it was in my building. Everything, that is, except for the way the doors

were numbered.

When I realized my mistake, you’ll be happy to know the locksmith stopped drilling

immediately and hauled ass out of the building. We never even set foot in your

apartment, and everyone knows there’s no breaking and entering without the

entering part.

I’m not sure if you were asleep or if you were out and happened to come home in

the time it took for me to go to the bodega down the street to get cash to pay (off)

the locksmith. If you were asleep, maybe this will teach you to be more alert, and if

you were coming home, are you a nurse or something? Why were you coming home

at 5am? I had come home much earlier, it’s just that I took a nap in your hall.

Either way, you were standing outside your building when the locksmith and I

returned. We were almost giddy with adrenaline (I suggested to the locksmith that

he was a professional and therefore must see this kind of thing often, but he assured

me he didn’t and I was crazy). You were interacting with a policeman on the

sidewalk and explaining that your lock didn’t work.

There were a lot of ways I could have handled this situation, but citing all the

reasons above, I think we understand why I followed the locksmith’s hushed advice

to go inside my building and not look back. Maybe you’ll be more careful next time.