things aren't always as they seem

Combination Locks

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Is this one of those situations where there are two kinds of people: those who prefer key locks and those who prefer combination locks?

In my house, keys to locks disappear after a short while. They don’t really go away so much as they reposition themselves somewhere in the house as to not be recognizable as a lock key. Or, I can recognize them as a keys to a lock but I have no idea which lock. Sometimes I can find the key, sometimes I can find the lock, sometimes I can find keys and locks that don’t go together. That leads me to combination locks.

I always choose a combination that is easily remembered. Easily remembered by whom I have no idea because I can’t open any of the combination locks in my house.

My latest combination lock is a Brinks lock. It’s rectangle with four cylinders for the numbers. I bought it to use at the gym. (Yes, I went to the gym for a couple of months a couple of years ago.)

I was needing a lock again and I managed to find this lock. What, then, is the combination? I was sure — just absolutely sure — that I had chosen a combination that I would have no trouble remembering at any time. Only the sure set of numbers I was using wasn’t opening the lock. I had the same sureness about my numbers for the Lotto for quite a few years. I gave that up, as I was always sure and always wrong.

I experimented with other sets of numbers. Nothing doing. I started over, being very careful how the numbers were aligned. That locked was still locked. This lasted several days: pick up the lock, twirl the numbers, put down the locked lock.

One day I picked it up again, just about ready to throw it away. There was one thing different about my efforts this time. I was wearing my glasses. Now, the numbers aren’t so small that I can’t see them or see when or how they are aligned. Even without my glasses, I could see that I was aligning the numbers up with the little dot at the top of the short side. But with my glasses, I could see that there was a line on the long side going straight through the set of numbers.

Ah, a clue. Actually, it was The Clue. The dot was not the alignment point, the line was. And, as it turns out, the first numbers I tried, the ones I was really, really sure about, are the magic combination. The lock opens for me now. Hmmm, maybe I’ll try the Lotto again.

Postaday2011 #158


Author: Tresha Barger

Writer (blogs, humor, short stories, poetry) and artist (miniature art quilts, watercolor paintings, soft sculpture dolls)

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