If you’d told me last week that I’d be spending my Fourth of July drunk on the top of a barn, I’d have told you that you were crazy.
I am terrified of heights. I always have been. On the Big List of Dumb Things Jen is Afraid of, “heights” is right up there with “germs” and just above “being incarcerated for a crime I did not commit.”
The barn is actually a workshop, for my friend Kate’s family construction business. Its roof of the barn is three stories away from the ground, and accessible only by a ladder, which seemed rickety to me, but which everyone had assured me was actually very stable. I had climbed up the ladder once, only to freeze at the top. Those of you who aren’t afraid of heights don’t know this, but the problem most of us heights-phobic people have is that we’re afraid that we’ll forget NOT to throw ourselves off. It’s not like we’re suicidal or anything. It’s just that we have no faith in ourselves that we’ll remember that solid ground is only a good thing when you’re standing on it, not plummeting toward it at 9.8 m/s/s.
Anyway, I got to the top of the ladder, looked at all my friends, shook my head, said, “Sorry, guys, I don’t think so,” and backed down — only to find myself face to face with the quasi-drunken members of locally infamous metal band White Limo.
(As an aside, I would like to say that I would like to make a Monkees-style TV show about White Limo. In my mind, they would live in an abandoned concert venue, like a converted movie theatre or similar, and they would drive around in a battered limousine, solving crimes and breaking hearts. I think this would be huge.)
So, long story short, the guys made me climb back up the ladder and sit on the roof for the fireworks. Well, OK, specifically, their drummer insisted and he was very cute and I am a sucker. So there you go.
I didn’t throw up or anything, either. Someone else did, though. After the last firecracker had faded away, I heard the most terrific retching behind me and turned around to find a guy who had given me a valentine in sixth grade — and who now has an actual CHILD — booting all down the side of the roof.
“You know, in retrospect,” Adrian (a.k.a. White Limo’s front man) said, “Maybe it wasn’t the most awesome idea to bring everyone up to the roof and get them loaded.”
I beg to differ, Adrian. It was a FANTASTIC idea.