An irrational moment

Irrational thinking can get you into a lot of trouble. Except this time I got lucky.

I’ve tried talking to other people about it. But it didn’t really help.

And I’m not saying it was really bad. There are far, far worse things a person can go through. It’s just what I went through. And ever since I’ve felt agitated, insecure, not myself. I’ve been down lately and I’ve noticed that I keep breaking out into cold sweats.

As I said, it really wasn’t that bad. But this is me somehow trying to get rid of the symptoms of stress. Even if it was only a minor incident, I still felt panic in that moment.

I’m writing this down because it usually helps to write. Talking does not have the same effect. A few years ago a friend’s father died and I wrote my first novel.

So here it goes.

Friday night was my school’s “Abi-Party”. A party to raise money for the actual ball at the end of the year. I didn’t go to party, I went to help out with the cloakroom. It was but a few hangers. It was an awful system.

I arrived around half past ten for my shift and it was already chaos. Everybody was checking in their heavy winter coats and those who had had the shift before us were completely stressed out. Five minutes in I already wanted to get out of there.

There were several circumstances adding to the stress. The place we hung the coats were bars with three hooks above each other. We had to use them all as there were so many coats. So in the end we had three coats basically hanging on top of each other. Secondly there was the method of putting the numbers on the coats. They had chosen cellotape to attach the numbers.

As a consequence of all those coats huddled up together and the cellotape not being very efficient, the numbers would fall of. So when the people came to pick up their coats, we could not find all of them.

At one point tons of people even ventured in and tried to find their own coats, thereby causing even more chaos.

It was loud, it was warm and it was simply stressful as hell.

Half an hour after the end of my shift, as I hadn’t been able to get away, I tried to leave the club, but they wouldn’t let us out. They said there was a fight outside and it was too dangerous for us to go out.

Now before I tell you the next part; note that I don’t usually do things that are irrational. I think things through as far as I can and try to stay sensible.

But in that moment all I wanted was to get out of that hell hole. To everyone else it was annoying, but the stress from the cloakroom and the guilt that people could not find their coats, the fear of being blamed (I hate when things are my fault, therefore I try not to make mistakes – in this case mistakes were almost inevitable) and maybe the heat and all turned off my rationality.

I went to find another way out. I headed straight for the sign that said fire escape. I went in and the door closed behind me. It locked.

It did not bother me as I was determined to get out. So I went through the next door, it locked behind me and in the end I arrived at the end of a staircase. I could feel the air on the other side of the door. I could hear the cars on the street. But the handle had broken off so there was no way of opening the door. First I thought it was locked and I panicked.

I went back to the door downstairs which was locked. I hammered against it. I tried to push open the door at the top of the stairs. I tried calling someone with my low signal. I tried yelling so that people might hear me. But I knew that there was loud music in the club and the fact that I couldn’t hear it proved that they could not hear me.

For a moment I thought I’d be stuck in there all night. Stupid little me couldn’t just wait for the fight to be over. Now I would just be stuck in there, that staircase made of concrete.

I cried and yelled, though it was obviously pointless. Then finally I saw the handle on the floor along with the entire outer frame of the door, that had somehow come off. I picked it up, put it on the door and turned.

When it opened I was so grateful. I got outside and I ran out of the parking lot, crying, hiding my tears as I went past the club.

My mother picked me up and I told her what happened. That night I dreamt of a room I was in exploding, then I teleported into another room which was small and tight and I couldn’t get out, until I finally managed to teleport again.

When I was younger a similar thing happened to me. The handle of the inside of the bathroom door broke off at school. I couldn’t get out and I cried. I managed to turn the bar that stuck out of the door, I think – or maybe I reattached the handle. Honestly I don’t remember anymore. I came into the classroom crying. The teacher hadn’t even noticed I was gone.

So anyway, I know it sounds like a rather silly story. Why didn’t I just wait? Or why didn’t I try turning the bar?

Why didn’t even sign up for cloakroom service in the first place?

It was an irrational moment, I guess.

Now this is the most detailed description of the moment I’ve given myself or anyone so far. I didn’t want to trouble anyone with my silly panic. It does sound really silly. But I still have these cold hands, the sweat. I still feel unstable, like I want to curl up in my bed and not come out of it.

Tomorrow is school and I’m a bit scared. People will be talking about the party, about the missing coats, about the fighting in the front.

I’m not blaming anyone. I just hope nobody will blame me.

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