I woke up on the floor of the Terrace Theater. When everything finally came into focus, I was staring straight into a guy’s face. He couldn’t have been older than 25 years old, and the combination of his deer-in-headlight expression and complete silence didn’t help with my state of confusion.
Lying on the cheap carpet fully aware of my pounding head, familiar feelings of self-consciousness overwhelmed me as I jumped up off the floor. Almost immediately I began to ramble about anything and everything that came to mind; about how I can’t believe I fainted, how this has never happened to me before, how I swear I’m not on drugs and how I’m not normally as weird as I probably seem at the moment.
I knew my mom had a point when she told me not to see 127 Hours, a documentary about a guy who amputates his own arm after getting trapped under a boulder, but I decided to go anyway. It was just a movie – how bad could it possibly be?
From the moment James Franco was trapped under a rock, feelings of extreme panic set in. My mouth went dry and I felt myself start to sweat – I never sweat, especially not in late November in a frigid movie theater. I started changing positions roughly every thirty seconds as my eyes frantically darted around the theater, desperately searching for someone who was in an equal state of panic. No one looked distraught in the least – senior citizens, women of all ages, even a few little kids – and I was the only one genuinely terrified?
I whispered to my friend that I needed water. As I walked down the steps in a fog, I felt dizzy and lightheaded, thinking to myself “There is no way I am actually going to faint.” And then I woke up on the floor.
As I fought back tears of embarrassment, I called my mom and explained what happened, hoping for some comfort, and maybe a tiny bit of sympathy. There was a long silence on the other end. Then, a little gasp for air as hysterical laughter began to ring in my ears.
That was the last time I ever ignored my mom’s advice.
Great, unified anecdote here! When I saw the movie, a row of folks in front of me were asking one another things in shocked, hushed tones like “is that is urine?” and “is he dreaming?” “that’s nasty” so they kind of kept me grounded in my immediate reality. It almost made me yearn for the solitary space of that shadowed canyon.