There is something terrible in that feeling when the realisation hits. First you check your pockets, then the door, then your pockets again just in case lint has metamorphosed magically into your door keys. Then because you still can’t quite believe it you try the door again. All of this happens in a matter of a few seconds until finally you accept your reality. You have locked yourself out. Then the magnitude of your predicament sinks in. Your phone’s indoors, with your wallet and ID. Your landlady is away, not that you have her number, it’s indoors!
When the above last happened to me I ended up walking 2 miles into town to the local locksmith, who then told me he couldn’t help but had a number of an mobile emergency locksmith who could. I phoned and left a message. Several hours later he arrived. By this time I was just pleased to see him but was more than a little conflicted when he told me that to have access to my own home I was going to have to pay him £75.00! I felt powerless and so I paid. He walked up to my door, removed from his tool box a thin square of plastic, slid said plastic down the side of the door and frame until it was level with the locking mechanism. Then with a deft wiggle of the card and a little pressure on the door, hey presto, the door opened. It took him literally 5 seconds, about the same time it took me to write his cheque. I couldn’t believe what I’d just seen.
This was how my most recent obsession started, by paying someone £75.00 to open my door with a piece of plastic. I had to learn how to do this, I had to learn what this man knew. So, I read and read all I could get on the Internet about lock-picking and locks. I bought a book and a set of picks. I bought a set of training locks, I bought some pad-locks, I even bought some special plastic squares just like the locksmith used and I practiced and I practiced. For about a month, locks and lock picking was all I could think of. I’d dream about locks, talk about locks, think about locks. While watching the TV I’d have a padlock in one hand and picks in the other. Gently lifting each pin of the lock whilst applying the gentlest pressure until hearing that satisfying click of the lock popping open.
As with many of my obsessions I had to learn everything I could up to a point that was practical. I learnt how to open standard cylinder locks and pin locks and how to open my door as quickly as the locksmith. I learnt all about tension wrenches, picks and rakes. I learnt all I could right up to the limit of what I felt I needed to. I stopped at mortice locks and knew that unless I was actually going to train as a locksmith I had learnt enough and with that the spell was broken and I resumed my normal interests. I do however, still carry a small lock picking set with me and regularly leave my keys at home so I’ll have to pick my way back in.
I never know when the next obsession will happen but during that time, for as long as it takes, I’ll learn everything I can until I’ve learnt enough. It has always been this way and I’m sure it always will be and I for one hope it doesn’t stop, because this is one of the best things about being an Aspie. When we apply ourselves to something that interests us we can achieve a great deal, often much more than many think possible.
© Paul C Siebenthal Oct 2012.