Trying Out: Trespassing (Week 36)

Trying Out: Standing on Shaky Legal Ground (Week Thirty-Six) 

Pardon me for being vague here, but the fewer details the better.  This time I did something on the fuzzy side of legal.

Once upon a time I was allowed regular entry to a place.  I had a key. Everything was strictly above-board.  Then my status changed.  I did not have a reason to enter the grounds anymore.

But no one ever asked for me key back.

For years I had wondered whether or not the building had changed their locks.  Could I gain easy access if I really wanted to?  Were the folks in charge smart enough to re-key the place?

Now, I know the logical argument against what I wanted to do.  Technically it could be construed as trespassing.  I could not argue that I had a valid reason to be on the grounds.  There was a certain element of sketchiness to my plan.

However it would have been just as sketchy had I made a personal inquiry.  “Hi there.  You don’t know me, but I have a history here.  And I have this key.  Do you mind if put this key in this lock here and see if it still functions?  If I can still enter the building?  I mean, if not; that’s cool.  I’ll just take this key and go home.  Oh, you don’t mind if I try?  Well, if it works you can have the key.  Just assume that I haven’t made any copies and that I’m not some loon running reconnaissance on the place.  Don’t mind me.  I’m perfectly normal.  Do dee do dee doooooo.”

Whether I ask permission or not, I come across as a crazy person.  So I might as well be a crazy person that sneaks around at two o’clock in the morning and lurks under cover of darkness.

burglar-207x300I am clearly a criminal mastermind.  After all, I wore a black cap over my head.  No gloves though, because then I would be advertising my deviousness if I were caught.  “I know it is 62 degrees out; but my hands were cold.  Honest!”

I drove my car down the empty streets of town.  I parked my car in a lot I knew would be clear of any witnesses.  I walked briskly and quietly (sneakily?) onto the property.  As I crept onto the lot, some thoughts were prominent in my mind.

“What if the security levels have changed?  What if they have added motion-sensor lights?  Or a dog?  Or a trap-door that opens up to a pit of angry army ants?”

Also, “this is stupid.  This is really, really, stupid.”

Ever so quietly I approached the door.  I treaded lightly on my jogging shoes.  (I was ready for a quick exit.  I can sprint when needed.)  I had the key in my hand.  I snuck up to the door.  No lights, sirens, or barking announced my presence.

Careful not to leave any fingerprints, I tried the key in the lock.  Part of me was thrilled that there was no light.  (A flashlight would have been one more thing to carry.  Plus a focused beam of light at two in the morning draws the kind of attention I was trying desperately to avoid.)  The other part of me struggled to see well enough to slide the key into the casing.  I even had it upside down at one point.

I tried the key in the first lock, but could not get it to fit.  The keys had been changed.  So I walked away.

Two seconds later, I walked back.  I decided to try again.  And it fit.

So I moved on to the second lock.  My breathing was still accelerated.  I kept listening for sounds inside that my presence had been discovered.  Experience taught me that the area I was in was a low-traffic spot, but I was still on alert.

Try as I might, I could not get the key to work in the second lock.  So I gave up.

For all of five seconds, that is.  “This makes no sense.  Why would they leave one lock unchanged and replace the other?  It is a two-lock door.  The key should work.”

I approached a third time.  The “this is stupid!” voice was getting louder.  I was determined to find out the answer.  And I refused to let myself think that I could come back and try again.  There would be no returning or second chances on this adventure.  Once I got my answer, I was done.

I wiggled the key.  I jostled.  I finagled.  Sure enough, the key fit.  I could feel it starting to turn in the mechanism.  My key would still allow me entry.

key-clip-artSo I left.

I was not going to enter the building.  There was nothing left for me inside that place.  I consigned it to the past and I am fine leaving it there.

In the past, I was never consulted when told to leave those grounds.  It was just decided for me.  “You are done here.”  Now I can say it is my call.  And I am done there.

Perhaps I come across as crazy.  There are some possibilities that stick with a person more than others.  What ever happened to that high school boyfriend?  What would have happened if I had left the house five minutes earlier and avoided that car crash?  What if I had gone to a different college?  What if people are foolish enough to keep the same locks year after year?

I snuck back to my car.  Officially consigning my key to retirement status, I pondered the grounds (legal and actual) that I had trod all over.  I thought about a lesson others might benefit from.

Change your locks people.

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About anecdotaltales

He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.
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