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One of our exterior doors fell apart earlier this year. It had been deteriorating for a while, and finally I dismantled it. Fortunately it doesn’t open directly into our house, only into a little enclosed porch on the lower level. We don’t absolutely require a door there, but it would be nice.

I didn’t want to bother with it myself — figured I’d just botch it. So I had a couple of different people look at it, but no one followed up on the job, and so it didn’t get done.

Then Xy started talking to our neighbor, Dan, who lives just around the corner. He said he’d do it cheap.

So one night, aboout four weeks ago, Dan shows up with a door on a grocery cart. It’s not quite the right size, but that’s OK. He’ll cut it to fit. It doesn’t have a window at Xy’s height, but that’s OK too. He’ll cut a hole in it and install a window.

Another guy from around the corner, Bob, showed up to lend a hand. Picture the three of us — an older black guy, a white dude with long hair and lots of tattoos, and myself — sawing a door on top of a grocery cart by the light of a street lamp. Comical, really.

I measured the frame twice but still they cut the door too narrow. A diamond-shaped pane of glass from the old door was used for the new window, but for some reason, I thought Dan would make a diamond-shaped hole for it. Silly me.

(The possibility has occurred to me, based on observed behavior, that Bob might be a high-functioning heroin addict. This suspicion was not allayed by the fact that, when I paid Dan for his work, Bob asked him for his share saying, “I need to buy some — uh — food.”)

We hung the door that night, but it took Dan a week or two to finish the job. At least I think he’s finished. You be the judge:

Door, Outside

He added the crucifix as a finishing touch. It has a secret compartment that is not actually very secret. Mainly, I hope that it keeps bad guys out, because the door itself certainly isn’t going to.

Door, Inside

The lock still doesn’t work. You can lock it from the inside, but the key gets stuck if you try from the outside.

Published inNeighborsOur House


  1. hey. what ever happened to the cross i gave xy you had in the bathroom?
    it was actually quite old and had a history
    if you hocked it, i hope you got the right price
    unlike the rach who kept selling off everyone else’s stuff like d.white’s cycle helmet and my sea and cake cds, guitar, etc

  2. […] I learned a few days ago that our neighbor Dan died back in October. I don’t know where or how, but we certainly miss him. He will never cut our little patch of grass or fix our door again. […]

  3. […] And to top it off he also installed a door there — that door has been missing for years, since old Dan’s crucifix-rig disintegrated some time after Katrina, I […]

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