Today my neighbor dismantled the door that woke me up almost anytime of the day or night for almost ten years, which is since I moved in to the current apartment. Anyone who had climbed up or ran down the stairs, was snapping it or trying to quietly close. It was made of metal, mounted on a metal grille and beautifully resonated at 3 a.m.. Many times I fantasized about covering it with felt in the self-righteous act of justice. But I never did. I did not even talk with the previous owner and the caretaker of this door. I appreciated peace and quite in the house more than my own comfort.
This was not an ordinary door, that probably come to your mind. It did not separate intimate home interior from common space. It was such a door to nowhere, giving placebo sense of security, because it was never locked. Its presence was not explained by anything rational, only by the power of magical thinking. Since it is, it must ensure safety. And probably in the beginning, a few decades ago, it had been dutifully locked. Someone had made sure that every evening the key in the lock was turned, and no unwanted guest was able to trespass the magical boundary between the common and private. Nevertheless, since the risk was decreasing or the feeling of it was fading, the lock more often remained untouched. Maybe even the key got lost at some point. But he door remained as it was.
And here my reflection on the change begins. Nobody has made any step to address this door. Even though in a moment difficult to grasp it transformed from a guard into a hindrance. It served no one – even the previous owner and her guests always would leave it ajar. Thus it barred the way for all users of the staircase. Including me. Countless times I had to close it, before I turned the key in my own lock. Not to mention all those moments when I was awaken by it during the night. But none of us did anything to fix the situation. With humility difficult to explain we have put up with this, small in total, inconvenience.
Until the new owner came, and probably asked himself – what is this door? Do I use it at all? And if I can get rid of it, would I be more comfortable? And the door disappeared. It left behind only a couple of hinges and a memory of gasps of some strongman who dismantled it and took it with him.