Escape From the Balcony

Inspired by the story posted by Exit Games UK, here’s the story of my first escape.

My real life escape story.

Around dusk in July 2012, I had just moved to a hole of an apartment outside of Princeton, New Jersey. While I was unpacking a friend came over needing computer repair.

I needed to use a can of air to blow the gunk out of her computer, so we went out onto the balcony of my new apartment, closed the sliding door, and heard the faint sound of wood hitting metal. We didn’t think much of it and proceeded to clean her computer.

When we tried to open the door, it slid about four inches and jammed. The previous owner had slipped a piece of wood into the sliding door’s track… I guess as a security precaution. The unit was on the third floor of the building so it was mighty unnecessary. Nevertheless it had fallen into the track and was doing its job. That door wasn’t going anywhere.

The Balcony

Our phones were inside… along with my keys. My imagination flashed to us screaming for neighbors to call the fire department. We didn’t want to be those people.

With my father’s mantra, “Don’t be a statistic,” running through my head I looked around to see what we had. Clothing, an old Macbook, and a can of air. No help.

I looked inside. Thankfully I hadn’t finished unpacking; my stuff was scattered around the living room. Maybe I could grab something to break into my own home?

I reached in, and managed to get my hand on a music stand. Its feet were too wide to pop the stick out, but the thing telescoped. I dragged my toolbox over… Nothing was going to help… But breaking the glass was now a (miserable) option.

I used the music stand to reach way in and grab a guitar stand. I took the guitar stand apart and tried to use it. It took some doing, and my friend had to push hard, sliding the door against my arm to give me a little extra room to work with, but it popped out.

And that my friends, was my first escape.

Should I play Escape From the Balcony?


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