In creative writing class this past week we had to work on writing our own memoirs.
At first, i thought to myself, "Fuck...I don't have enough life experiences to write a memoir."
But then i recalled my wonderful trips to Europe!
Rest assured, there are plenty more memories where this one came from =)
note:a few events were combined for the sake of the narrative, but everything in this entry is true.
I’m awoken by the all-too-familiar chirping of my bedside alarm clock. It seems to always go off too early; I close my eyes just long enough for that damn thing to jump six hours. Before I know it the ungodly beeping starts, I crack my eyes just enough to read “6:13” on the red digital clock face, and another day has begun whether I like it or not. I slide slowly out of my cocoon of warmth and throw the covers violently onto the floor, figuring I may as well take my early morning, sleep deprivation rage out on something. Hey, I don’t have to clean up after myself. This is our last day at the hotel, after all. Stretching my arms above my head, my entire body aching pleasantly from the exertion, I yawn and think, “It’s way too early.” After a long moment of debating whether or not to fall back into my better-looking-by the-second hotel bed, I make my way over to the window, weaving through the maze of personal belongings strewn haphazardly across the floor. If someone set off a bomb in the suitcases of three 18 year old boys, the result wouldn’t look much different. Clothes in varying states of wearability are the prominent fixture, tossed all around the room, hanging from lampshades and stuffed behind chairs. Travel-size toiletries and deodorants rest upon empty travel bags, themselves residing in separate corners of the room. Every now and then minuscule pieces of open floor space break through the chaos, although they’re rare enough to cause me to momentarily pause and muse, “I thought the carpet was red…” Three mothers would probably have conniption fits if they could see the damage their sons were wreaking on this poor defenseless hotel room. A dark gray foam sword bearing the moniker “Warwick Castle” in elegant script letters rests at the foot of Jake’s bed; I hit his feet with it as I pass by and mutter, “Breakfast in ten, bus pulls out in thirty. Get your shit together.” He rolls over and grunts pillow-muffled obscenities in return. I step over empty cans of Orange Coke and Red Bull, piled beside a change purse and two “Welcome to Ireland!” maps, and part the curtains that cover the window just enough to catch a glimpse of the idling bus sitting in the parking lot below. It backfires, prompting Taylor to sit bolt upright in his bed and shout, “ THEY KILLED BIGGIE!” He looks around, rubs the sleep from his eyes, and gets his bearings before calling over to me, “Last day at the castle, eh?” “I suppose so,” I reply, taking a sweeping glance around the room. “Damn. I’m gonna miss this place.”
As we go through the morning routine, trading off short showers and shoving our ever-growing list of possessions absentmindedly into our bags, I reflect on the week and a half we’ve already completed, and look forward to the week and a half we still have left on the itinerary. “There’s no way the next ten days can top the last ten” I think to myself, reminiscing on incredibly busy days and non-stop antics. We finish up our daily duties, do a final sweep to ensure not a single sock or shirt is left behind, and wave goodbye to our room as we head for what promises to be another runny egg, burnt toast breakfast reception courtesy of the hotel kitchen staff.
“Hey Jake,” I begin as we lug our plethora of suitcases towards the old fashioned hotel’s sole elevator, “Do something wild for the camera!”
“Alright!” Jake says back as I pull out my electric blue Canon PowerShot, the tourist’s mainstay for mediocre digital photography. He drops his stuff at the elevator door, turns around and says, “I’ll do a handstand!”
For whatever reason, be it repeated nights of minimal sleep or just plain brain dysfunction, I agree wholeheartedly. “That’ll be so badass!” I press the record button on the camera and simultaneously call, “Go!”
Jake takes two steps towards me and throws himself forward, indeed performing a handstand for about three seconds. He starts leaning prominently to the left, however, and before my eyes he falls on his face with a resounding THUD, taking an innocent bystander of a five gallon fire extinguisher and a hefty chunk of drywall with him. No more than a second passes, consisting mainly of the three of us gaping at each other wordlessly. I break the silence with, “Maybe we should take the stairs…”, breaking the spell. We all book it, galloping down the steps three at a time, the stairwell echoing with our footfalls. We make it to breakfast wild-eyed and out of breath and eat our food in silence, imagining in our heads nightmares of the international legal system.
But our worries turn out to be all for naught; as we hear our teacher leaders call, “Pack the bus and board, we’re leaving in five minutes!” no one has yet to step forward in defense of the fallen foreign firefighter. Taylor leans over and whispers, “Close call man. Let’s not do that again,” as we finish our gourmet meal and head for the parking lot.
“This will be an eight hour bus ride with minimal stoppage people, so make sure you visit the loo before we set off.” Suki, the head teacher, calls out over our heads.
“Why does she think it’s cool to use British words?” I hear Taylor ask Jake a few rows behind me.
“Probably cuz she’s a d-bag Taylor,” Jake responds idly.
“Oh right!” Taylor replies mock-seriously, “I forgot she was afflicted with Doucheitis.” Ever since Suki broke up our late night Shaun of the Dead movie party the third night of the trip, there’s been quite the rift between the leaders and the kids. My friends just prefer to be particularly vocal about it.
Pushing thoughts of throwing Suki over the Cliffs of Moher to the back of my mind, I plug in my headphones, spin to a playlist, and allow the sonic waves of The Beatles to wash over me. The bus makes a U-turn and lurches forward, turning out of the hotel parking lot and onto the main road. As it gathers speed, I press my head against the glass and gaze out the window, watching the unending green landscape blur past me.
Taylor yawns and rests his head on his hands. Jake is already asleep, snoring loud enough to rattle the windows. This is repeated up and down the aisle of the bus; fidgeting and shuffling abound as we all settle in for a very long journey. Awaiting us at the end of it? Another hotel, another shitty meal, another messy room…and sure, plenty of unsuspecting fire extinguishers. It may sound pretty unbelievable, but after a week and a half it’s just another day as a People to People Student Ambassador.