Darlene this morning walked for an hour and fifteen minutes to a jogging store to register for the 11k race, then walked home in time for the hardest workout she’s had since arriving here—an hour of upper-body workout, followed by 11k on the treadmill, with the first 25 minutes set to replicate hills. Afterward she could barely get up the four flights of stairs to the apartment. But for some reason (she wanted cream for her coffee) she agreed to go out with me for a few errands and supper somewhere. I had e-mailed my Juniper Fuse piece to Bloomsbury Review earlier in the afternoon, then did my daily swim in the Med, so I was feeling tuned and foolproof as I grabbed a key from the key rack in the kitchen. It wasn’t until the heavy door to the apartment thumped shut behind us, locking automatically, that I realized I had taken the key to the blue Honda, not the house keys.
I knocked on the door of the second-floor apartment, which is a school of some kind, and a woman named Bridgette said the only thing to do was to call a locksmith, which she immediately did. While waiting in the stairs for the locksmith to call back with an estimate on when he would get there, I belatedly followed Darlene’s initial advice that we try to contact Leila, the woman who had cleaned the apartment on Monday, who works across the street at the Cavendish Hotel and has a key to the apartment. The front desk clerk at the Cavendish called Leila, who said she would drive right in with the key. Meanwhile, the locksmith showed up. I didn’t want Leila to make a special trip for nothing, so I explained to the locksmith that we were okay and didn’t need his services. I offered to pay him, but he said that wasn’t necessary. Leila arrived. We are back in the apartment. Darlene doesn’t know whether to kill me for locking us out or be grateful to me for getting us back in, so she’s simply reading a mystery. It’s titled Death of a Hollow Man.