I had an interesting thing happen to me:
As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m currently at a hotel in Ventura, CA, working on a video course for lynda.com. After a productive day of recording, I returned to my place—the Holiday Inn Express along Ventura Harbor (it really is quite nice). So there I am in the best room in the joint, 363, on the third floor with a wrap-around balcony. And I visit the balcony to take in the view. It’s raining, so I close the sliding glass door.
When I go to open it again, it’s locked. Totally hard-locked. How I locked it, I don’t know. I’m slightly panicked, so I peak around the wall to my neighbor’s balcony: It’s dark. I have no cell phone. There is no one below. Did I mention I’m on the third floor? I have no rope to descend. In fact, I have nothing. Did I mention it’s raining? Did I mention (no I didn’t, yes I did, I’m confused) it’s dark?
There is one and only one escape route. On the far side of the balcony, connected to the outside hallway and stairwell, is the following imposing barrier. It is designed to keep the riffraff off my balcony. Only, I’m the one who wants off my balcony. And I’m very worried that I’m going to have to wait on this balcony until the housekeeping staff finds me in the morning.
This is not a pretty image. This is not a demonstration of my photography or Photoshop talents. This is a dark and harrowing image. And this is a puzzler:
The plaster ledge of the balcony (the beige area along the bottom of the frame) comes to roughly my waist level. The bars are, I’d guess, 8 feet higher than that. The obvious route over the metal barrier is narrower than my body. The gap between the bars is narrower than a baby’s head. The metal was wet and slippery, and the sloping bars were slickery ‘n shit. I was wearing a new jacket (although that concern ultimately fell by the wayside).
I live today—free, uninhibited, and unharmed—and slept in a warm and cozy bed tonight. So how, I ask you, did I escape?
Is there a prize for the right answer, you ask? Hell, no! Sometimes, you take on a challenge, wonder what the hell you were thinking, and want to know what another person (i.e., you) would have done in that situation. And so, just out of curiosity, I ask you.