Our Door Knob
We live on the 26th floor of a metropolitan high-rise. Its one (and only) outer wall, connecting the bedroom and living room, is a floor-to-ceiling picture window overlooking the city. Day or night, the view is magnificent encompassing the myriad of wonders of the modern world: glittering lights, flashing signs: Crown Casino, The Village Cinema, Big M, DigiQ.com; flowing streams of cars making their way along the freeway, across the bridge, down winding roads, coming to a stop at the lights. Every night on the hour, ferocious balls of fire burst from pillars, which line the boardwalk, and illuminate the sky. Sometimes I awake in the middle of the night, their reflection in our wardrobe mirror is so bright.
The buildings below are a mishmash of old and new: flat roofs, domes and pointed steeples, which somehow create a harmonious puzzle glued together by the river, its waters changing with the weather (which is known to be fickle in this neck of the woods) from sparkling shades of blue to a deep muddy brown. Early morn hot air balloons cross the sky, they come so close to our window that once, I swear to you, I saw the Wizard waving on his journey home from the Land of Oz.
The view is what makes this matchbox apartment on the 26th floor of a cosmopolitan high rise a gem. It is what captured our heart and imagination. When first shown the apartment we literally made our decision from door. “I’m taking it,” I decisively told the agent the instant she turned the knob and opened the door. “This is the view I want to wake up to. This is the view I want to come home to.” Although I would never want to actually own this piece of real estate, it is perfect for temporary lodging.
I have only one problem with the apartment – the door knob. I am always struggling with it. I never seem to be able to get my grip on it to open the door, particularly upon returning home, when my shoulders, arms, hands and fingers and entangled with bundles and bags – an inherent accessory of my daily attire. I take hold of the round door knob. It seems to fit securely in the palm of my hand. Then, I turn. But, nothing happens. Again, with a bit more force. Nope. No impact. Letting go, I try again; this time attempting a better grip. No matter how hard I try, it is always a struggle, becoming more and more frustrating as time goes on and my failures accumulate. I can’t begin to tell you the impact it has had on my self-confidence. How come I can’t perform a mundane task of opening the door? I do it the way I have always done it in every single apartment I have lived in, and believe me, there have been many! Turning to the left (or is it the right, I always get them confused, especially when it’s really only a matter of perspective) – away from the frame. Isn’t that how you do it? My logic is simple: if you want to open the door, turn the knob away from the frame to extract the latch. No? When you lock the door, you turn the key toward the frame in order to insert the latch, don’t you? But naw, for some reason this approach wasn’t working.
Then yesterday, after months of building my arm muscles, after months of trying to get the right grip, after months of trying to figure it out on my own, Anthony showed me how he does it. And that is when I got it. As crazy as it may seem, Anthony turns the knob the other way – inward towards the frame. It’s as easy as that!
So stuck on what I believed was the way; so sure that what I have known my entire life is the right way; so convinced that what has worked in the past is the best way – I never allowed myself to try something different, to make a tiny adjustment, one small change as simple as turning the door knob the other way.