Heather Handstands Her Way out of the Bathroom: An Excerpt from my Book

Heather Handstands Her Way out of the Bathroom

                One fine morning in Salem as I made my way to the kitchen I heard staccato commotion coming from the basement: abrupt questions against muffled answers. I continued my descent. There stood Carrie speaking through the bathroom door to Heather who was inside. Locked inside. Apparently the lock jammed and she’d been stuck in there for nearly an hour. Various ones tried to undo the door, but to no avail.

The landlords were out-of-country and the repairman was not answering his phone. They asked me for suggestions. I hypothesized we could take the door off its hinges. Soon I had a screwdriver in hand and was doing just that. Then the screwdriver, the blatantly cheap screwdriver, broke. That is to say, the metal bit lodged itself in the hinge’s barrel and cleaved to it “til death do us part.” The handle of the screwdriver remained in my hand. Now what? We’d supplied Heather with magazines we’d slipped beneath the door, but hours had transpired and though she claimed to be content, we figured she had nearly overstayed her welcome.

We wondered aloud if she could squeeze herself out the small window above the sink. The window was about six inches above the ground outside the house. Heather not only thought she could do this; she was enthralled by the challenge. Now, in the Salem House we had a penchant for doing ordinary acts with pizzazz. This was no different. Heather decided rather than putting her arms through the window and having us pull her up from the outside, she would do a handstand on the sink and poke her legs through the window for us to grab onto. Genius. Pure, acrobatic, former cheerleader genius. With remarkable agility it worked. She got her legs out the window and we carefully added our strength to hers and got her out. That was a first: a handstand escape through a basement bathroom window. (Eventually someone did come and remove the bathroom door, repair the lock, and restore the bathroom to its former glory.)

I wonder if our old bathroom is on the phone right now recalling this same story to one of her bathroom friends. . .


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