It was one of our usual Thursday nights in Budapest, back when everyone else was at university bar me. All my friends were living their best, disturbingly reckless lives and could enjoy Friday midday sobering-up coffees whilst I was already slaving at my office at 8 am – desperately trying to hold down my dinner from last night.
That evening – like every other evening we spent in the student hostel my friends resided – remained an extremely blurry memory. I was most probably overdone on Full Moon, the drink that always, without a single exception, sent me to a world I had not known before, to a state of total chill with just a pinch of crazy.
I weightlessly stood in the corner, right behind the door, in my best friend’s fuzzy dorm room. It was like a miniature bachelor pad with 2 single beds: it was relatively messy and smelt like an IT department. Both my best friend and his then roommate were mechanical engineer graduates, ridiculously smart and always drunk on a Thursday night. Those days they used to hold “floor parties” outside their room for an entire floor of virgin, dominantly male engineering geeks. When me and my girlfriends showed up, the news travelled with the speed of light from room to room: “there are women on the floor“.
My best friend’s room had a tiny fridge where he kept his mum’s cooking week on week, just opposite of where I stood, right next to the door. I knew exactly where the fridge was because earlier that year he was feeding me his mum’s home cooking when my oh-so-natural reaction to an early 20’s heartbreak was to refuse to eat when I wasn’t forced to. I was my skinniest and prettiest those days, although this is 100% irrelevant to this particular story.
He was sat at his desk minding his own business on his computer, right by the window at the far end of the room, talking drunk nonsense I would not remember.
Suddenly, a boy – a total stranger to both of us – with an incredible amount of boozed up energy stormed into the room and opened the fridge. He shut the room door behind him and anxiously kept on looking in the fridge. He was nervous and out of breath. It took us a moment to realise he was even there – moreover, what was he looking for? We stared at him from the 2 corners of the room until he looked up:
“I’ve lost my keys” he said.
This took even longer to register.
And then, instead of pointing out the obvious and ask what made him think that he’d find his keys in someone else’s fridge, my dear friend did the absolute unthinkable. He grabbed his own keys and threw them out of the window: “If you don’t have yours, I don’t need mine” he said.
It was like a Jim Carrey movie where nothing added up to reality and yet it was extremely real. We now had a stranger looking for his keys in my best friend’s fridge for God knows what reason, and my best friend who voluntarily got rid of his own keys to sympathise with a total stranger.
Oh how I miss you, good old Thursday nights.