It's an old door. Crooked from birth. And the hinges wail....whine....shriek, if taken by surprise. The inside frame is notched from an endless parade of hook-n-eyes screwed in at every level, in a futile attempt to keep her tethered, and later lost to wayward windstorms, escaping dogs, and hissy fits.
She's a great door. Her melodic night time creaking, whispers to me when there's company. Her rusty morning yawn, the tell-tell sign it's time for coffee with the neighbors. Her "enough is enough" random slamming....my wooden meterologist.
The handle is way up high. Hippie Mom's answer to the baby gate way back then....I look at it now and wonder what I was thinking.....Boogie men and seven year olds could never enter without bellowing at the gate first?
She's old. And tired. And sitting in the Sunday grass with the neighbors, I wondered at her longevity. How long can a screen door last? Blowing in the wind, knocking about in storms, opened and closed a thousand times, covered in a lifetime of fingerprints.....arms wide open.....
Tonight when I came traipsing in through the dark and yanked, she didn't budge. I panicked. Yanked again. A little harder. Ka-bump! She gave way. I scooched onto the porch and she slammed. Yeah, just like her. But something felt funny. The way she resisted. Scrunched her toes into the sandy floor and wouldn't budge. I turned around and pushed her. Nothing. Pushed a little harder. Nothing. Shoved her! KA-BUMP!, I went flying back out into the blackened driveway
head first into my neighbor's smile.....
"We put magnet's on her!"