“What did you do with the night before starting NIDA?”
Ok, so here's the story:
Last night - paying no heed to the public-holiday-ness of the day and with due diligence to the fact that I was to start NIDA this morning (and particularly because our first task was to be the headshots which will be our official NIDA photos, and on display in the foyer and at every event for the entire course) - I decided to be really superbly responsible, left the pub at 7:30 (where I had met some lovely first year acting students, caught up with Nic English, and had a grand total of 4 beers in three and a half hours) and walked home.
Upon arriving home I changed out of my soaked clothes (been raining all day in Sydney, yeah Adelaideians, the Cricket was better there, we know) into my PJ's, planning to have a very early night which would include a bath and a bit of reading before sleep. I decided that, before any of these things, a final cigarette on the rooftop garden would be nice, even though it was pissing with rain. At this stage I was even thinking that it might just be my last cigarette for a good few days or weeks as I was thinking of trying not to smoke at NIDA. So I put on my thongs, because I don't want wet feet, and up I go, with my cigarette and a glass of water - i kid you not, not even a real drink - and my phone to do a bit of facebooking. I have my cigarette and head downstairs.
On the third step down i feel my thong start to slip, realise that both my hands are full (phone in one, glass of water in the other) instinctively go to save myself first and my phone second, the glass goes flying and smashes to smithereens on the flight below. I catch myself on my now free hand and my other elbow, mostly saving myself, completely saving the phone, but still end up on my ass on the stairs and crash down about 2 or 3 steps.
A little shaken, annoyed that I’ll have to clean up all the glass off the stairs, and sporting the beginnings of a couple of choice bruises I climb tentatively to my feet and continue down to get a dustpan and brush from the apartment. As I reach the EXACT spot where the cacophony of broken glass litters the stairs my feet, in my evidently incredibly slippery thongs, start to go from under me again. I attempt to grab the bannister but my phone is in the hand on the banister side and my free hand makes no purchase on the wall on the other. As my feet go completely I impulsively catch myself on my free hand thereby slicing my hand to shreds on the glass-littered floor. I hit the stairs, attempt a final ditch effort at saving myself and sacrifice the phone, fail anyway and crash down most of the remaining stairs. Bleeding profusely and now virtually covered in popped capillaries which will turn into very nice bruises i burst into tears, rise in agony, grab my (surely smashed) phone, and somehow make my way to my bed where I collapse in gales of blood and tears for about five minutes.
Once I feel sufficiently recovered I take stock: The glass on the stairs still needs to be cleaned, my phone is - astonishingly - unbroken, and my bed looks like somebody just conducted a dodgy home abortion on it. I don’t have another set of sheets so I decide the bed can suffer and I clean up the glass. A trial in my now battered state.
Back in the apartment a few minutes later I decide that if anything warrants a G&T it is the events of the evening so I pour one and run myself a bath - now required not just for leisure but to wash the slowly drying blood off my... everything. I honestly didn’t know you could bleed that much without passing out.
In the bath with my G&T (no lime in the house either, to add insult to injury) and feeling distinctly sorry for myself I decide that a little catharsis with Adele will be the solution to my problems. Obviously the big move, missing my friends back home in Adelaide, fears about NIDA, and the massacred hand and battered body are all too much: Someone Like You sends me into fully twenty minutes of body wracking everyone-I-love-just-died-in-a-freak-accident style sobs. My bath is filling with blood and tears and I’m literally writhing and heaving with sobs as I clutch my G&T for dear life. For twenty minutes. Having utterly exhausted myself I emerge slowly from the seventh circle of emotional hell, with the help of Sia (Elastic Heart first to build strength and then Chandelier to create euphoria) and a well timed phone call from Daisy Brown.
Eventually fully recovered I climb back into my PJ’s and crawl into my abortion-bed for a restive night; much interrupted by emerging bruises, storms through the open window (which I had to get up and close at 2am because, despite the warmth and humidity, i figured it was more important that all my possessions not end up ruined) and many weird dreams.
I awoke to a positively aching… everything, pissing rain and no umbrella in the house. I find the nearest umbrella (Cignall on Oxford, ten bucks) but the damage has been done, as I get on the bus down Anzac parade my hair is ruined and I’m a drowned rat, covered in bruises and with a left hand that wouldn’t look out of place in a horror film ... and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how I arrived at NIDA.
All’s well that ends well though. No facial cuts or bruises and, surprisingly, by the time my headshot came around I was dry and my hair had resolved itself in some semblance of normality - thanks Sydney humidity!
As of this evening I am sore, physically and emotionally exhausted, and not entirely sure it’s hygienic to sleep in a bed with that much dried blood on it (can’t wash sheets in pouring rain at 10pm in Sydney without a dryer can we) but happy. Met many lovely people today and am so excited to get to work properly tomorrow avo. And, I have to say, I had the BEST “What did you do with the night before starting NIDA” story of anyone I met, probably anyone in the building, possibly the entire student and alumni body. Just saying.