Heather in Senegal

Saturday, September 30, 2006

September 10
A noteworthy first:
Before going to bed last night I shut my hut's door. Since getting home, this was my first time doing so while inside. As I pushed the door shut, forcing it so the lock's mechanisms would line up, I briefly thought of the way I had to slam into the door yesterday each time I wanted to open it. While I was in Thies the rainy season finally picked up speed, and Kolda got a lot of rain. My wooden door frame, which was already curvy, swole in the humidity. But I had water in my hut, and I knew that in a pinch I could ask somone to punch the door for me in the morning.
Come morning, I couldn't open it. The little handle nailed onto my door did not give enough leverage. With the ease of one who has always had to carve her way out of her hut after a strong rain, I reached above the door and slipped my potato-tire knife out of its sheaf. I have been keeping the knife there because while trying to decide where to store it I noticed a curved piece of metal nailed above my door. The knife fits perfectly. I wonder if I stumbled upon a prior tenant's weapon holster, or if this once held a fetish to protect the hut. I placed the knife in a spot where the door did not meet the frame, and I sliced into the swollen wood until I was able to force the door open. After this I continued shaving off thin strips of wood until the door had regained freedom of motion. I then put bike oil on my skeleton doorkey to grease the lock which had been grinding unwillingly, and went to draw water for my bath, wondering on the career assessment test that once advised I become a locksmith.


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