After an evening full of ridiculous laughter (so much that my cheeks hurt and that I’m pretty sure I burned off all those calories from the honey brick toast dessert) with good food and good company, I was at Tiffany’s house when I received a text from my housemate a little after midnight that construction was going on in my apartment complex parking lot and that I’d have to park at the adjacent church rear lot. It didn’t help that Tiffany and I had just read about 1988 Junko Furuta’s gruesome torture and murder story (WARNING: don’t read about it if you have a queasy stomach) and were talking about serial killers.
"Fuck. The church parking lot is so far away from my apartment. The lots don’t even connect. I’ll have to walk through the church lot, walk by the main street, then walk through the complex. It’s like almost a mile of walking. By myself. This late at night." To be honest, I was more averse to the walk due to sheer laziness rather than regard for safety.
"Take this," Tiffany said, handing me a metal rod, about 2ft long. "Just in case of anything. Plus, you’ll feel so much safer with it. Trust."
We ended up talking for an additional hour and a half.
Finally, around 2AM, I headed home. I parked in the church lot and surveyed the area. The parking lot is separated from the apartment complex by a row of bushes and a cement wall. I figured that if I could bypass the bushes and scale the wall, I could leap over to the other side without having to walk long distance carrying a metal rod. Call it a shortcut, if you like. Besides, it was late and dark, and the chances of anyone seeing me would be slim, despite how shady it would look.
I walked the length of the parking lot, determining where the the wall was the lowest. I finally located it — about a 4ft height, and noticed that there was a 1.5ft clearing underneath the bushes. “Screw it,” I told myself, stuffed my phone, wallet, and keys into my denim shorts pocket, clutched the metal rod, and ducked underneath the bushes, hoping for no cobwebs and flesh-eating bugs and ignoring the twigs and leaves grazing my hair.
I emerged on the other side of the bushes and found myself facing the cement wall. It was too high for me to push myself up using my arm muscles (not that I have any), so I did the next best thing. I swung one leg high up, hooked it over the wall, and hoisted myself, grimacing in pain as I felt the rough cement surface scrape against my thigh (damn those denim shorts), and ending up in sitting position facing the apartment complex, surveying the area in front of me.
To my horror, I realized the drop down was greater than I had anticipated. From the church side, the wall is only about 4ft. But from the complex side, the length from the top of the wall (where I was perching) to the ground is a little more than 6 ft.
"No sacrifice, no victory," I told myself, echoing my tattoo. I knew if I landed off balance, I’d end up with a painfully rolled ankle and perhaps injured knees, but what the hell. Where’s the fun in life if you never take risks? I jumped and stuck the landing, still tightly clutching the metal rod in one hand. Then I ran, getting slightly lost a couple times before I finally arrived safely at my doorstep.
As my tweet last night said, “Epic night. With an epic story. And an epic skin injury.”
You just had to be there. But it certainly makes for a great story.
And then, this morning, I noticed that the construction team had finished setting the new asphalt in the complex parking lot, and I came up with the notion of etching my initials into the wet asphalt. My other housemate found a strong stick, and I took up lookout duty while she scratched in her initials onto the ground, and she then did the same for me. Once we were done, we ran home like delinquent teenagers up to no good.
Our names are forever in the ground…. until the complex re-asphalts again, that is.
I’m sad to say my penmanship isn’t very good when I’m writing on the ground with a stick.
Oh, and I just have to add one more thing — it’s beyond awesome knowing that you have friends who care for your safety. Thank you, Tiffany!