Friday, September 14, 2007


really, it goes back to those

blasted smokers in the stairwell.

this was still before we bought a new front door,

and the stench would slyly seep in through the cracks.

so we dreamed up lining the door with foam tape

to get a good seal around it.

but that made the lock really hard to turn.

in fact, so hard, that we used to use pliers to turn it.

clearly, it was not a permanent solution.

but what ended the party sooner than expected, was

the night the key broke off in the lock.

that was the first time we had to knock on his door.

the flannel shirt, the shaggy hair, the

coke-bottle glasses. . .

we were not surprised to learn he was a computer programmer.

after helping the pathetic young family

back into their apartment,

conversation got going about the internet and setting it

up for tenants in the building, including us.

sergei said he would do a little research

and get back to us. next thing we knew,

he was handing us an

8-page single-spaced packet

about what the internet is, and what options there were.

oh, we had some good laughs about that one.

a few months later

our computer crashed and we had no backup.

we found ourselves knocking on sergei's door,

begging for help.

3 hours of mental & emotional anguish

later, we were back in action and wanting to

kiss him once for every recovered file.

now after that hard lesson,

we wised up and bought a separate hard drive

to religiously back everything up.

and this we did faithfully for nearly a year,

and all was well until that

one fateful night.

as we prepared to clear our computer and reinstall windows,

we triple-checked to make sure everything was backed up

on our external hard drive.

then Richard (names have been changed)

proceeded to delete the hard drive, while

little did we know, we were deleting the

external drive simultaneously.

oh, the terror!

next evening, one tortuous day later,

another knock on sergei's door.

"there's no hope. forget about it," he says in his


but you don't understand, sergei.

everything. gone.

and we plead with him to take a look.

he finally comes over, armed with rescue software.

and meanwhile, i keep busy with anything else,

anything to avoid the bad news.

the busying takes place in the kitchen, with

clips of conversation once in awhile audible.

negative, then positive.

i finally enter when i think it's safe.

and sergei, the miracle-worker

has saved us once again.

Oh, blessed neighbor.


Mindi said...

wow, we need sergei to work some magic on our computer... you sure lucked out!

LKC said...

I want a sergei of my own. Will you share yours?

Amy said...

I LOVED that story. The smoke in the hallway, I remember all too well. And Sergei is a miracle worker. YOu are so lucky! I love the way you write.