True Story: The Time I Fought My Way Out of a Bathroom

13 Nov

There’s a distinct feeling you get when you wake up covered in blood. A million thoughts begin running through your aching noggin. “Am I injured?” “Did I kill someone?” “Do I have all my limbs?” “Did I close my tab?”

If you did, in fact, do something terrible, you begin covering things up. You formulate your alibi. You convince at least two people to back you up without disclosing the details. And you maybe throw some weighted bodies off a bridge. On the other hand, if you did something awesome, even for the most ridiculous reasons, you begin working through the best way to tell that story.

This is about one of those times.

One fall weekend during my junior year, a high school friend who went to another college came to visit. You know what that means. We partied.

After hitting up my favorite bar, we called my roommate to come pick us up. When I say that we partied, I mean we raged balls. I’m normally a pretty level-headed drunk. I don’t scream; I don’t stumble; and I don’t make a scene. This was not a normal night for me.

Waiting outside on our ride to arrive, I didn’t really get a chance to piss out all the booze I had in my body. So a few minutes into the car ride, I was lock-kneed, literally standing up in my seat, scream-begging him to stop at a gas station. Of course, when he did, the attendant wouldn’t let me in. Something about yelling and banging on the door, or whatever.

So we hopped back in his car and I told him to gas it to the nearest bathroom he could find. For some reason, we ended up at a fraternity brother’s house. I quickly booked it to the bathroom and urinated so satisfactorily that when I was done, I was ready to party again. So we took some shots.

If memory serves, this was the first taste I ever had of Jameson, and I was into it. After a few more shots and a couple of drinks, we decided it was food time, so we headed to the standard campus taco shop for 3:00 a.m. drunks. It was a divey little place with pieces of plywood serving as the bathroom doors, and we loved it.

After downing some Mexican food and water, it came time to take another leak. So I headed to the bathroom and slid the bolt shut on the door, took care of my business, checked out my drunken swagger in the mirror and turned around to leave.

The lock was stuck. Though I prefer to believe that this old, rusty piece of shit got stuck on its own, there’s really no telling why it chose me to entrap in the vile bathroom.

I proceeded to sideways karate chop the handle on the lock, assuming my strength would unjam the bolt and I would be set free. But drunk me is quite strong, and instead, after a few chops, the handle of the bolt went flying off the lock and directly into my face.

“Fuck,” I thought to myself. At this point the door was locked, but there was no handle to unlock it with.

Fortunately, there was a small hole left where the handle had broken off. I took my keys out of my pocket, and found one small enough to fit in the hole and serve as a handle. It barely fit, but was small enough to get a slight grip on the bolt.

After another 10 minutes of attempts to slide the bolt out at a rapid pace (about one attempt every two seconds), the damned thing finally went shooting out the end of the lock, and I was free.

I coolly put my keys back in my pocket and sauntered back to our table, hoping nobody noticed I had been in there for about 30 minutes. I casually sat down and waited for a point when I could rejoin the conversation as if nothing had happened, but the conversation had stopped.

They all turned to stare at me with panicked looks in their eyes. “You’re bleeding everywhere,” my roommate said.

“Huh?” I looked down and, surely enough, a pool of blood was gushing out of my arm and hand, and on to the table. “Well, shit.”

I grabbed some paper towels and began mopping it up before an employee could notice and throw us out. I fashioned a makeshift tourniquet out of some more paper towels and assured everyone that I was fine before relaying the preceding events.

The next morning, I awoke with the familiar panic of a bloody hangover. Looking in the mirror, I surveyed the damage, counting no fewer than 10 places where blood had found its way out of my body, including my face.

And through the remainder of my college career, I laughed every time someone came out of the bathroom and said, in disbelief, “The lock on the door is broken.”

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