There are benefits in being paranoid

When it comes to house keys, I’m borderline paranoid. I need to cross the threshold with the keys in my hand so that I’m absolutely certain that I didn’t leave them behind (especially helpful when I’m rummaging through my bag in search of said keys). Even when stepping out  two metres from the front door, I ensure I have the keys on hand. Maybe you can guess where this is going…

Earlier today, I felt that I needed to lighten up a little—after all, nothing has ever happened. Besides, I told myself, I’ll be out for less than 30 seconds, just enough time to place the trash in the bins. Opening the door, I noticed it was rather windy, so I moved the doormat  such that it would impede the door’s movement. All would have gone well had I not noticed the chicken bone next to the doormat. Some animal had been going through our trash again. I turned round to place the bone in the appropriate bin (organic refuse—we’re fancy about rubbish), and that’s when I heard the soft click of the door closing. (Italian front/main doors are made in such a way that from the outside, you can open them only with a key).

Yes, it was well and truly shut. There weren’t any windows open; actually, we hardly ever open those at the front of the house. So in my fluffy slippers, I went over and buzzed the neighbours and asked if I could use their phone to call my brother. He was at work, and had to brave the Christmas shoppers’ traffic to get to this part of the world. Three hours and a lot of conversation later I’m back home, convinced more than ever that some fixations are not all that bad after all.