Where were we? Ah yes, bound hand and foot, gagged and tied to a big wooden chair by a buddy who was audibly enjoying himself, from time to time unsuccessfully trying to stifle guffaws.
Before leaving, buddy even gets a mirror from the bathroom and places it such that I can see myself – well at least my bound feet and knees, roped arms and gagged and duct taped mouth. Then, after a final satisfied look, more stare at me, he leaves and I am alone.
Understand, buddy is not being evil. This is what I wanted.
Little did I know that the challenges faced by being tied to a chair, let alone at multiple points would multiply the degree of difficulty to escape. The first and most immediate problem is leverage – or lack thereof. I can be pretty nicely bound and gagged on the floor and still be able to put lots of muscles to use flailing about trying to find some weakness in my bonds. With my ankles, knee and wrists bound and tied to the chair, no such flailing, and much more difficulty. I had no particular further hindrance to attempts to escape by my biceps being tied to my body as the major issue was that my wrists were bound securely behind me and tied up snug to the a cross-slat on the chair.
Moreover, I can normally count on being able to make a fair amount of noise no matter how tightly gagged. (I don’t claim to be able to say anything intelligible, but make noise, yes). But, duct taped over the gag and around the head several times further limits my noise making ability. For those never duct taped, careful what you ask for, as I learned as time went by, even pressed onto the skin, duct tape against 98.6 degrees skin will emit even more glue and thereby stick even better (or worse!) to you.
In the normal course of being tied-up, I go through phases: assess the situation, begin struggle, despair, try different strategy, work up a sweat and panic, try yet a new strategy until something finally works leading to ultimate euphoria and adrenaline rush. It’s the latter two that I’m a junkie for and make the whole otherwise unpleasant experience worthwhile. As usual, I start with my hands; work those opposable thumbs loose and everything else falls into place. Except, with such little leverage (none!) and numerous well hidden knots, even the attempt to struggle let alone find even one knot to start prying loose proved wildly unsuccessful. Tiring of no progress freeing my hands, I concentrate on my ankles, hoping to wiggle my legs enough to pry move the encircling ropes so as to maybe loosen some.
I was well into an hour of pretty futile struggle and my first full blown panic attack as a furiously tried to somehow finangle the duct tape off my mouth. Remember that point I made about 98.6 degree skin (and hair)? Yep: more futility.
Not to bore anyone, let’s just say this general process repeated itself for what seemed like – and turned out in fact to be – hours. My one single reward at the end of that time, was to be able to kick my running shoes off, which ultimately led to my being able to pry loose my ankles from the rope that they had been tied with. Of course, by now it’s late, I’m tired and covered in sweat, but even this little progress was call for elation and a satisfying, albeit brief adrenaline rush.
This small victory didn’t solve every problem, but it at least meant I need not stay immobile in the middle of my living room while gagged with my hands still bound behind me and tied to the chair. I continued to concentrate efforts on freeing either my hands or at least my gag, all to no avail. Not sure how long I carried on these renewed efforts, but safe to say quite awhile longer. Eventually though, my arms aching, hands beginning to go numb and the cloth gag tied in my mouth tearing at the corners of my mouth, I figured to try and stand up, and carry myself and the chair to which I was tied into the kitchen and try, try, try to open a drawer and pull out a knife.
And it worked; just don’t ask me how. Armed now with a serrated steak knife was able to go to work on the ropes and knots that had my hands so tightly tied-up and tied to the chair. Even that had its moments of despair and panic, though ultimately I did get tiny reward number two, which was to free my wrists from the wooden cross-brace but still not from remaining stubbornly crossed and bound behind my back. That took still more time, effort and sweat, but like everything else, any progress, no matter how small was celebrated with renewed effort and ever greater leverage ultimately leading to – freedom!
Well almost. I managed to free my arms pretty quickly after that, but there was a not pleasant unravelling of duct tape, and careful as I could be, there was some hair lost and a nasty sting across the face and lips as I slowly got the job done and could at long last, undo and pull the by now really annoying gag from my mouth.
I was a mess; a physical mess literally shaking, my mouth quivering as my lips tried to come back to life, and my arms aching. But it was my wrists that were the most shocking. From hours of struggle the rope burns were so pronounced and literally so deep that in some places the skin had been broken and there was blood. Not a lot, but enough that for almost a week after I could only go out into public or work wearing long sleeve shirts buttoned up to ensure the rope burns stayed hidden. Also, even though no longer gagged, having been so for so long and so tightly, my aching tongue and mouth didn’t immediately work as they should to shape words. It was hilarious. I could try to make words, but it was as if I was still gagged, with ½ the time the words came out as gibberish.
I cleaned up as best I could and headed for bed. But the exaltation of finally getting free wasn’t exactly conducive to sleep, especially with the various aches and pains associated with the extended evening’s work. Safe to say, when I finally did get to sleep, it was a long one.