If you're unfamiliar with the term, defenestration means "to throw a person or thing from a window." In this case, I am writing about defenestration from a first person perspective because I, by my own accident, have taken a tumble from a window.
Falling out of a window is something unlike anything most people will experience in their lives. A possible near-death experience that can elicit slow motion perception and other life-altering visions as they fall, defenestration is a particularly unsettling way to die or become perilously injured. Gravity takes hold, your senses are heightened, yet you know nothing of your position in relation to the ground or the window you've come from.Once used as a means to kill enemies in battle and in combat, defenestration now typically occurs in moments of passion or instances of extreme clumsiness. Read on to see what it's like to fall out of a window in the modern age - and live.
Was It Caught on Tape? You're Famous Now!
The blinking red light of a video camera may not the thing you want to see when you've just fallen out of a window - but if the person who filmed it sells it to the media or puts it on YouTube (or pretty much lets anyone know of its existence), you're going to gain some notoriety. The guy who filmed my rescue effort sold it to anyone who would bite, and I've since appeared on the likes of "Good Morning America," "Ripley's Believe It or Not," "Maury," and even "Oprah."
If You Go Out Backwards, You Have No Idea What Up and Down Are
The argument can be made that if you don't know something bad is coming, it won't be as bad when it happens. In the case of falling out of a window, there is typically NO good to come, so knowing what's about to happen is really preferable.If you go out a window backwards, all you know is that you're in a different place from where you started. As gravity takes hold and does its thing, you may find yourself in any permutation of up, down, and sideways positions (depending on the height you're falling from) before you reach your final destination. It's scary.
If You Are More Than a Few Floors Up, You May Go Splat When You Land
The year that I fell out of my window, at least two other people fell out of theirs. One kid went from four stories up and LIVED, but was either really badly paralyzed or left in a vegetative state. The other went from about the same height and died. (Details on those who suffered a less fortunate defenestration aftermath than mine are hard to find).Of course, if you fall out of a really high window (like this guy in Canada who was just trying to be awesome), you're probably just going to want to enjoy the fall and not think about how many mops it's going to take to remove you from the sidewalk later.
You Will Never Be OK Around Windows Again
I don't have a fear of heights, but I get uneasy when I'm anywhere near a window more than two floors up. The week after I took my tumble, I had a job interview in the glass-encased fourth floor office of an editor whose publication I wanted to write for. His desk - and the chair I was to be interviewed in - were against a window looking down on a large swath of concrete. As he asked me questions about my writing and life experience, I gave choppy responses as I casually / not so casually inched away from the window.
When my interviewer finally asked what was prompting my strange behavior, I told him I hadn't felt comfortable next to windows since I fell out of one. The look on his face was ALMOST worth the discomfort.Side note: Got the job.