Sunday, February 5, 2012

Another time I've climbed something then thrown myself off it.

Being ungraceful, I succeed at it.

In a previous post I mentioned a certain propensity of mine for climbing tall objects while under the influence of a good time/a few drinks/a few good friends. I wasn't kidding when I described it as a full-fledged habit, as you'll soon see.

I'm not sure what it is exactly. It could be put down to inhibitions being dashed with the addition of alcohol to a night out. I'm going to take a wild guess and maybe say that plays a part in it. That being said though, it's not as if I have any definite aversion to heights or climbing to great heights whilst sober. Maybe it's the inherent skill I have for falling over at opportune moments and the way I lack anything resembling grace? A little from column A, a little from column B methinks. I climb statues, fences that happen to be unlocked (that's actually happened a few times), trees, boulders, other peoples' bikes, abandoned Chilean rodeo rings. Let me at it. I'll climb it. 

Look, I am actually one of the least graceful people I know. One of the clumsiest people I know. I'm not kidding, yo. My legs are a constant warzone of bruises and cuts and scrapes. I walk into chairs, dishwasher doors. I trip over my own boots. I walk into doors, while giggling like a schoolgirl at the lame jokes of co-workers. While working in hospitality you can bet that I'd break a glass during most shifts. I suppose it's some consolation that I know others get so much laughter and joy out of the many tales of woe and injury that I can tell. You got a story about being clumsy? Pfft. Kiddo, shush. The adults are talking now. Listen up, I'll tell you some stories of clumsiness that'll make you cringe till your face hits your palm.

I recently related this story to some people I don't know that well. I'm sure they think I'm much less cool than they initially did, but at least I got a few lols out of it! You'll have to forgive the fact that this is a blog, I find there's more lulz to be had if I'm acting out the various stages while telling it. 

I was walking down some stairs. Metal stairs, the kind that get slippery when wet. I was descending said stairs with two friends of mine, a couple of friends I considered to be a couple of the more interesting and intelligent guns in my arsenal of pals. It was winter, so I was wearing that old reliable jacket, my cold weather darling companion. I was also wearing thick woolen gloves. Perhaps you can see where this is going? Oh, you're so astute. When the inevitable slip and tumble occurred, it was a slow motion comedy of errors. 

A choked cry erupting from my face, I slipped down the stairs. I couldn't get my hands out of my pockets in order to grab at something to steady myself, or to break my fall. My nimble (read: ungainly) footwork saved me though, as I fell down the stairs. I flung myself against the wall, hands still tightly within my jacket pockets. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to stop the momentum, or my seemingly-on-strike feet. So I kept half-falling, half-staggering down the stairs, my skirt no doubt giving those still standing an eyeful of unpleasantness. Lacking in options, I flung myself against the other wall, like some sort of herping, derping clumsy human pinball. Hands still in my pockets. If there was ever a time for a photo to be taken, and for DERP to be written underneath it, that was it. I kept falling, and landed in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. I finally steadied myself enough to stand up and near-hysterically attempted to laugh off my inability to walk down stairs. I had a lump on my leg for weeks.

ANYWAY. I didn't exactly climb those stairs and willingly throw myself down them, so I guess that's kind of an inaccurate example to give you all, taking into account the title of this post. Apologies.

It was 2008, it was Adelaide. Laneway was on, I was with some friends. My pal Jimmy was within the confines of the festival, having paid for a ticket like some well-meaning and honest member of society. I spoke to him on the phone, and realised the fence I was walking past was in close proximity to his location. So to the strains of Girltalk's set, I clambered up the side of Adelaide University, up a fence, up a wall, till I was hanging off the railings of a balcony, face to face with Jimmy. It was like some sort of reverse, platonic Romeo somewhat drunkenly yelping at her grungy and male Juliet.

"Good night?"
"Yeah! Good festival?"
"Fuck yeah!"

I looked past Jimmy to see a security guard striding across the balcony/walkway while looking pretty displeased.
I let go of the railings and launched myself into the night sky. It was then that I looked down and realised how high up the fence I had scaled actually reached.
You can see a pattern here, right? I climb something, have reason to jump, then realise mid-way through the air how much my landing will hurt. Hell, I even climbed a volcano in Chile, then only realised later on that I'd have to get down, and that I don't really like steep descents, or ice.

Back to Adelaide. The AUUUGH in question was the holler that echoed through the night, beneath the sound of Girltalk as I landed on the concrete in a crumpled heap. Not a good move. It hurt, and my side remained black and blue for a long time after returning home to Melbourne. Whatever, it's okay. Just part of a day's activity for me.

One day I'd like to be able to go for a week without tripping over an invisible crack in the footpath, or my own feet, or a chair that's plain to see for all apart from me. One day I'd like to meet someone more prone to walking into things than I am. Until then though, I will continue to not wear high heels, as well as not bothering to pose in photos (whenever I do, it inevitably ends in laughter).

I wear these because they're easy to walk in, and walking is a skill
I often have a questionable mastering of. Note the mismatched socks.

I will continue to refuse to hold your precious objects and small children - I will break them.

I will also continue to always carry bandaids with me. Fences and concrete beware, I'm proudly hurtling towards you, whether or not you're locked, unlocked, ready, comfortable or otherwise. 

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