Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and mine ends somewhere around paint-ball

Last weekend I made the (totally conscious and sober) decision to go paint-balling with 20 friends, a couple of ex-boyfriends, one ex-boyfriend’s younger brother and some strangers. Anyone who knows me well knows that, while I have negative athletic net-worth, I am (kind of) rich in inner rage (and only kind-of kidding). Hiking aside (not my strong suit), I fucking loved it.

When I wasn’t getting shot in the tit (thanks, August) or gut-laughing in the backseat of a three-hour car-ride as all six of the mix CDs I made for the trip violently skipped (“Call me a safe bet, I’m betting I’m nah-ah-ah”), I was letting my guard down — lightyears away from my comfort zone.

In between spouts of briskly walking for my life, I took to Twitter (because my memory is shot and I have a memoir to write one day) and the results are as priceless as what it must’ve felt like to get me to agree to go paint-balling. The welts and sores may have faded, but the story no one really believed (“Meg Goes Paint-balling”) is forever.

“Suck a fucking dick Jason”:
life living above lonestar
– 4:56 a.m.

My morning is meant to begin at 5 a.m., but thanks to signing a lease three doors down from a bar, I’m awoken by one drunk bitch’s crusade to find her car (which I hope she never found, for everyone’s sake). I drag my ass into the bathroom to find the shower-head mangled on the bathtub floor. I vaguely remember a text my roommate sent the night before.

“Totally broke the shower-head. I’ll have to show you using charades.”

I take a two-minute shower (mind you, the water is running vigorously, and straight out of the pipe), pack up, get dressed and head to Jimmy’s at 5:30 to make our friends’ incredibly optimistic 6:30 meet-up and 7 a.m. departure (I have little legs and even smaller strides).

“Did you sleep last night?
5:45 is a brave time to be awake”
“No.”
– 6:16 a.m.

Jimmy is concerned by my 5:30 a.m. “need anything?” text. I get there on time. Everybody else gets there around 7. We talk about the weather and how everyone is excited to shoot me.

We all look homeless
#paintball
– 6:54 a.m.

Also ready for war.

“Yo my heart might explode”
#paintball
– 7:29 a.m.

Five minutes into our road-trip and Roberto is on his third Red Bull. We only get lost once on the way to Pennsylvania, and use a porta-potty somewhere in Jersey. Mazel Tav.

“I can’t talk right now, this is the best part of the song” @Rmminondo during Circle of Life
– 8:17 a.m.

In the days leading up to what felt like my own death, my car-mates had asked if I would make some mix CDs — with their suggestions, of course. I made six and, while four of them skipped the whole way home (spoiler: don’t go running through the woods with anything breakable in your backpack), the best ones made the cut. See: the first track list:

  1. Shots – Lil Jon and LMFAO
  2. Ignition – R. Kelly
  3. Whenever, Wherever – Shakira
  4. Underneath Your Clothes – Shakira
  5. Groove is in the Heart – Deee-lite
  6. Lose Yourself to Dance – Daft Punk feat. Pharrell
  7. Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cult
  8. Slow Ride – Foghat
  9. So Fresh, So Clean – Outkast
  10. Right Back Where We Started From – Maxine Nightingale
  11. Stockholm Syndrome – Blink 182
  12. You Get What You Give – New Radicals
  13. 212 – Azealia Banks
  14. Circle of Life – The Lion King
  15. In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry
  16. Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
  17. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  18. Sugar We’re Goin’ Down – Fall Out Boy
  19. White Houses – Vanessa Carlton

“Getting on the road by 7:30 a.m. is like putting a man on the moon for our friends”
– 8:19 a.m.

We left late, but we’re still really proud.

Jimmy named his gun Gordon Ramsey because it’s very loud and mean
– 9:31 a.m.

We get there a minute past opening and it feels like fucking Christmas. Roberto tapes together his ripped pants as Robert gears up, Jimmy loads Gordon Ramsey and I sit around on my phone waiting to be told what to do. Captains pick teams. I get picked second-to-last, likely out of pity and for the sake of keeping me on the same team as the girl — my best friend/sista from another mista — who begged me to give paintball a fighting chance.

We run to each other like this is a real draft.

“Did you see Black Hawk Down?”
– 9:51 a.m.

I am scared. I tuck my phone into my bra — immediately rethink that decision — and leave it in the floral backpack I’m so gracefully carrying over my full-camo jumpsuit. The whistle blows, I take a deep breath and spend the majority of my morning hiding behind barrels and crates and cardboard cutouts. I get shot in the side by my first ex-boyfriend’s younger brother.

“Sorry!”

He’s on my team. At least I shot David in the dick (also sorry).

Update: paintball is hard
– 12:22 a.m.

I put my phone away again until…

Update: August shot me in the tit
– 6:37 p.m.

I get shot in the hands, thighs and back a few more times until we call it a day around hour nine. We hike back to the car, strip ourselves of our five-pound jumpers (hallelujah) and split up. We reconvine at Wendy’s over frostees and air conditioning. I laugh harder than I have in years over a three-hour a car-ride through three states with four of my oldest friends — then sleep.

The morning after paintball feels like
laying down in front of a truck that’s
pouring pounds of thumbtacks
on you then running you over
– 10:35 a.m. the next morning: Easter Sunday

The moral: venture outside of your comfort zone, even if that means getting shot in the tit.

Also always pack a pair of sweatpants.

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