While preparing lunch today, a middle-aged man suddenly appeared at the back door of my apartment.
Excerpt from the conversation between this unexpected arrival (U) and me (M):
This guy was clearly out of breath. I live on the third floor of a walk-up. People don't normally show up at my back door.
He was looking at me expectantly, like I was somehow terribly rude for not throwing open the screen door that separated us. Meanwhile, I was making a mental note to always lock said screen door in the future for moments like these. I gave him my best "who are you and what are you doing here?" look.
U: I'm Pierre.
Yeah, ok, so now that I know your first name I'm supposed to let you in? He didn't volunteer any further information that would explain his presence. I racked my brain trying to think of plausible reasons strange men in their 50s might show up at my door feeling entitled to enter my space. I could only come up with one:
M: Are you the maintenance guy?
My landlord had told me that some guy named Pierre would be by eventually to look at the sink in my bathroom, but that was two weeks ago and I hadn't heard anything since. I wasn't expecting the visit to be a midday surprise.
I let him in.
M: I forgot to mention to the landlord that the doorbell and the clothesline are also both broken. It's not an emergency, but any chance they could be fixed?
U: Of course.
He smiled a lot and was running around my apartment on warp speed.
U: Ok, so just so you know, I have a key to your back door. If you are not home when I come back, I will just let myself in if that is alright with you.
M: I guess that would be fine.
U: Would you like me to call first?
M: Yes, that would be great actually.
U: Oh, and don't bother locking the screen door. If the thieves around here are intent on getting in, they're just gonna break the window. You're not gonna stop them by locking the screen door.
And with that, he was back out the door. His entire visit lasted all of 3 minutes.