However, as a Realtor, I have to look professional. I sometimes wear those goddamn torturous heels.
Earlier in the week, I had taken a client's house key to get a copy made.
"Please bring it back, it's my only key," the seller begged.
I assured her that of course I'd bring it back.
I drove the twenty minutes from her house back into the center of Healdsburg, but then a crises erupted with another deal and I drove in a mad frenzy to my Santa Rosa office. It wasn't until five hours later that I realized I still had her only key.
Four days after that, I returned to the seller's house with the key. She lived eight miles out of Healdsburg. Those eight miles comprised a windy and narrow road lined by cliffs and massive trees. It took twenty minutes to get from her house to a normal street and civilization.
I called the client to let her know that I was coming. When I arrived, the gate was padlocked. The gate wasn't electric. It had to be unlocked and opened manually. I parked outside the gate and could see the house in the distance. I jumped up and down, I waved my arms wildly in the air, I honked the horn like a crazy person. I flashed the headlights. Nobody came down from the house to let me in. Fifteen minutes later, it was getting dark and my vision was rapidly diminishing. With my 20/400 vision, I can barely see in daylight.
I decided to hop the fence. Except that the fifty thousand dollar fence was too narrow to get my foot in and the spikes across the top prevented me from muscling my way up. A tree grew nearby the fence. How I visualized getting over the fence required gymnastics and flexibility. My limbs have the pliability of a sixty-year-old man, and I was wearing heels. I propped my back against the tree and leveraged myself to the top of the fence. I stepped down on the narrow horizontal strip of wood and hung onto the tree so I wouldn't die. The only thing I could do was jump. I jumped. My right foot caught the spiked top of the plank and I plunged five feet to the ground. I fell directly on my knee into a mush of leaves, dirt, and roots.
As I started hobbling up the quarter-mile long driveway, the seller got into her car and drove down.
"I'm so sorry," she said. "I meant to open the gate for you."
"Oh, that's okay," I replied. "I just tried to hop the fence."
She looked at the grass and dirt stains covering my arms and legs. I had bark stuck to the back of my shirt. Some twigs and leaves were in my hair.
"You hopped the fence," she said. It wasn't a question.
I waited for her to say that I could get in her car and she'd drive me up to the house. She didn't ask me to get in the car. She nodded and continued driving towards the gate. I assumed that she was opening the gate so that I could walk through it on my way out. I sighed and staggered like a cripple up the long-ass driveway. I struggled towards the house and handed her the key when she had parked and gotten out of the car.
I wobbled back down to the gate, my body scratched and bruised, and my feet in agony.
When I got to the bottom, the gate was still padlocked, and my car was still outside the gate.