“Micky, come back inside”, my classmates were screaming through the window. There I was, walking on the windowsill on the 7th storey of a hotel in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. I remember seeing the fear in their eyes, but this attention only encouraged me to walk further over the ledge, at least 25 meters above the ground. “Don’t worry, I’m coming back in. Just let me knock on the neighbour’s window, it’ll scare the shit out of them,” I replied. Only 16 years old, a true adolescent with a taste for attention and sensational stunts. The higher the risk, the bigger the rush. When I read about Nikolay’s drunk diving adventure on the Bulgarian seaside the memory of Prague popped into my head. A story that I also want to use for the Weekly Writing Challenge on WordPress.
Looking back, my classmates were of course right. Totally sober it’s already stupid to walk a path that’s 30 centimeters wide on the 7th floor. Imagine if that person has been drinking and smoking weed all day. Nowadays I often wonder what made me do it. I remember very well I didn’t understand my friends’ fear at the time. I understood even less that they ‘ratted me out’ to the teachers. Now, 14 years later, I actually developed a small fear of heights, so I can’t imagine pulling a trick like this again. But I still do love to drink and get into crazy situations. The question is, is the alcohol to blame for these stunts or is it just me? I think the last.
Back to Prague. It was a school trip with my Dutch highschool. The other options for kids from my year were Rome, Barcelona and Venice. But not my friends and I. We didn’t care about museums or the Colosseum, we wanted to get drunk as cheap as possible. Of course, most of us smuggled a few grams of weed over the border, cause that’s just what Dutch youngsters do when they go abroad. Yes, these were the days I still smoked pot too. I was 16 and it was cool to do so. This was before I realized I liked the effect of drinking way better than the slow zombie mode that weed gets you in.
So for five days we were feasting on Czech beers, cheap vodka and any other alcohol we could find. I’m sure we did some cultural stuff during the days too, but I really don’t remember what that might have been. I just know one day we went to a concentration camp and we walked around a lot in downtown Prague. But mostly we were throwing hotel parties that would make the average rock star piss his pants. Our teacher – who was well known as a pothead in school – got grumpier every hour as he was cut off from marijuana while we filled the whole hotel with this distinctive odor.
And when his bad temper reached a peak, this little prick that he was responsible for started walking on the outside of the hotel. I walked at least a decent 5 meters far, knocked on the neighbour’s window, made a turn and returned the full distance. It wasn’t very easy and a fall more than 25 meters deep would mean an empty seat on the bus back for sure. But I was confident as if it was on the ground floor. The teachers were less thrilled. So they decided: no more alcohol for Micky (don’t worry, a few minutes after this verdict I was drinking again). The weed wasn’t even mentioned, my teachers chose the path of pretended ignorance here. It bothered me then that alcohol took all the blame, like it was a dear friend of mine.
Sure alcohol played its part, but that’s just the little bit of courage you need to do the crazy shit that’s already somewhere back in your head. It silences the rational voice that kills many great ideas. You read my story and Nikolay’s drunk diving adventure. Sure these stunts seem retarded several years later, but I’m glad we did them anyway. Boys will be boys and we need to do some crazy stuff every now and then. And apparently Bacchus or Dionysos is still watching over his followers. For some reason sober people seem to hurt themselves way easier in these situations than drunk people do. Just take this Serbian bridge climber as a third example. Maybe it’s because we lose all irrational fears. I am convinced that when I’m in a bad situation and there seems to be no way out, I should get drunk. It’s like transforming to a cat that always lands on its feet. Metaphorically speaking of course, not literally after a fall from the 7th floor.
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