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
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
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.