Friday, August 27, 2004

Peeing in the Dark …

… in the House in the Middle of a Very Rainy Night

True story. This happened to me several weeks ago. I have told it once or twice and thought about blogging it, but thinking about blogging while you are nowhere near a computer isn’t all that useful. Well, perhaps it is useful if you are still young enough to have a memory, but I am old enough not to remember what memory is. I think of a lot of blogging topics when I am nowhere near a keyboard, or when I am near the keyboard but have seventeen other computer-related chores to implement first. I should carry around a little notebook to record my ideas, but I keep forgetting to purchase one, and if I ever did remember to get one, I’d only forget to bring it with me. If, by some miracle, I remembered the notebook, I would simply forget my pen — or lose it. BTW: have you seen my handy-dandy, pocket-size space pen lately?

What was I saying? Oh yes! I am going to relate what they call an anecdote, as opposed to an antidote. Here we go.

I am of that age and sex where one is susceptible to being summoned from one’s bed by the call of nature several times a night. Most of the time, it is not that big of an imposition; I can more-or-less somnambulate to the nearest toilet, bathroom, latrine, john, privy, or potty and get back to bed and to sleep without disturbing my sweet dreams too terribly much. On occasion, I do become more fully awake than usual and end up performing an insomniacal dance for a few hours: turn to the left; roll to the right; head down; pillow up … and on it goes. But that doesn’t happen very often (thank heaven for small mercies).

It’s even harder when I camp in our tiny tent, however. I tend to sleep more fitfully out there in the wilds and, therefore, seem to receive nature’s call more frequently — am more aware of it anyway. Our tent isn’t large, but I manage to crawl into a corner, unscrew the lid from the three-quart orange juice container and … blush … a certain amount of modesty prevents me from describing the scene any further, so feel free to supplement your imagination. I use a container inside the tent because one simply can’t be unzipping the tent six times a night in the middle of bug and bear country and hopping around outside and being bitten lord knows where by the devil knows what.

Once again, I digress. Back to the story. But as I tell it, remember that it is raining outside: raining very hard as a matter of fact.

There, I was making one of my usual middle-of-the-night visits to the loo (good for me: found one more synonym). I seemed to sense a warmish spraying sensation on my left foot. Now, certain males of a mature age do tend to spray a little — just a tad you know. We can’t help it as our streams seem to act of their own free will: stopping, starting, dripping, or clogging in some sort of unpredictable arrhythmia. Although I had never sprayed my foot before, sleepy stupor or no, it seemed reasonable to deduce that now, for the first time ever that's exactly what was happening to poor me.

So, I stopped the … well, let’s call it a piddle since stream seems too grand a description for my nocturnal efforts at the latrine. Lo and behold, I could no longer sense a spray on my foot. Although I couldn’t compute the physics of it, I seemed to have established a cause and effect, for when I resumed the flow, so did the sensation on my foot resume. Ergo: it must be that I was spraying my own foot.

But I wasn’t totally convinced, even in my somnambulant state. Tricksy me, I positioned my hand where it should block any errant spray, and I resumed my discharge. Blimey! My hand didn’t get wet, but my foot still did. So, I reasoned that I could not really be peeing on my foot. But what the heck was going on?

Aha! I have a bad back (stick with me here folks), and I experience all kinds of sensations in that leg: jumping nerves, numbness, and twitches of all description. My mind embraced the conclusion that the nerve damage had concocted (pardon the almost-naughty word) a whole new sensation for me to enjoy in future years. I was now experiencing it for the first time, but I’m sure that I would have grown to treasure this sensation in due time.

This realization, this answer of sorts, brought me some peace, but when I had completed my piddling little chore (so to speak), I had the presence of mind to reach my hand down to my foot, only to discover genuine moisture. The carpet was also wet. No nerve damage this.

As I was bent over, consumed by my musings, a trickle of water hit my shoulder. Well, this threw both the errant-pee and the nerve-damage hypotheses completely out the window. The real situation was the heavy rain had found a weak spot in the roof and that water was tricking down through the ceiling air vent as a result. The trickling was spasmodic, which explained the stopping and starting that I had experienced. Case closed, but a solution for the dripping water was still required. I mean, I couldn’t just let the rain soak into the carpet all night. Even a non-woman knows that.

Being a semi-bright fellow, I secured a small bucket to catch and contain the drip. But not being an exceptionally-bright fellow, I didn’t think to soften the resultant crescendo that falling water makes in a bucket in the middle of night after dropping the eight feet from ceiling to floor. To be truthful, it sounded a little bit like erratic machine gun fire.

So, my quiet trip to the bathroom had now degenerated into the equivalence of a noisy gunfight at the OK Corral. True to the script, the cavalry rode to the rescue. Sensible wife arose in consternation and quickly solved the noise problem by dropping a softening washcloth or three into the bucket. Problem solved.

Actually, I think I handled everything pretty well for a middle-aged guy who was simply trying to multitask by sleeping and peeing simultaneously. I’ll really have to worry if I ever stop bothering to get out of bed to practise this multitasking. That’s about the time that the men in the white coats will show up to take me to a place where nice nurses will wrap me in nice diapers before tucking me in for the night … with a warm glass of milk just to ensure that the diaper’s purpose gets fulfilled.

They tell us that we all need to feel fulfilled: apparently even our diapers.


Butterfly said...

I'm so glad that you wrote about that. How funny!! Very descriptive I must say....

shadowbox said...

It takes guts and a special kind of verve to write about stuff like that. And boy am I glad you posted...a thoroughly enjoyable read (and this is my first visit).