My friends are going to kill me for this one. They’re going to hunt me down and kill me. They’re going to be justified in doing so, too…

I think we’ve all scrubbed this particular incident from our collective memories. In fact, if you’re not quite ready for a truly awesome mental image, you might just want to visit Lilu’s blog for other, less-disgusting but still too-much-information stories.

Looking back, I think we always tried to justify it as ‘one of crazy things you do, and never, on pain of death, never, ever talk about again.’ Like when you’re out partying and you get too drunk… and you do something you regret… like screwing a heifer (not that I’ve ever done that before oh no) — only in this case we weren’t drunk. Not even a little. Sober, completely, utterly, intravenous black-as-a-starless-night coffee sober.

We slithered and squeaked and shoved each other across the sticky-wet plastic with nary a trace microgram of alcohol in our blood.

Peter once tried to bring it up with an innocent grin, a misty-eyed glimmer of mischievous recollection playing across his visage: ‘hey guys remember that time…’ And then he saw our faces. We were all staring at him, anger and pain oozing from our sorrowful, regretful eyes. He soon shut up. No one has mentioned it since.

Until now.

Enough time has passed. Geographical and emotional distance has squeezed its way between us. We’re no longer close. Maybe this story will be enough to bring us back together — maybe  it’ll remind my friends of the good times we used to have together; maybe they’ll just descend upon my house to lynch me…

It all happened on my 14th birthday…

It was raining. Heavy, but not unkind, horizontal rain. It was May and warm.

My birthday parties were always quite special, y’see. I always went one step further to make sure they were memorable or different from everyone else’s. A little gold nugget in everyone’s party bag, half-pounder burgers at McDonalds with a whole fleet of Ronalds to entertain us, entire ice-skating rinks rented out — special — and this time… this time I had rented a bouncy castle!

A bouncy castle.

From my vantage point here in the present, 11 years later, it looks so innocent, so pure, so damn fun. How wrong I was…

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

It was all going so well. We had played musical chairs. We had eaten our jelly and ice cream. And now we were bouncing.

The rain was getting harder. We were getting wetter. Pitter-patter on the plastic and our skins, both quickly slick, slippery.

Can you tell where this is going yet..?

Gentle, friendly shoves gradually moved towards aggressive trips and flips. We climbed the squidgy, pliable walls and performed Moonsaults and Flying clotheslines.

I think before anyone had quite realised what was going on, we were wrestling and writhing there on the plastic. Grappling. Tugging. Flipping.

Then… for some reason… I took my clothes off. It just felt like the right thing to do. I was young, wild, fancy-free.

And then everyone else took their clothes off.

And… that’s the end of the story.

The dreams of a young Sebastian
Looking through the window


I am a tall, hairy, British writer who blogs about technology, photography, travel, and whatever else catches my eye.