Sunday, March 25, 2007

Unpleasant Memory No. 23: Auto-Micturition

The street I grew up on, well, it wasn't really a street. It was a boulevard. By the age of 11 or so I had come to realize that "boulevard" had a certain cachet, a kind of European flair, that "street" lacked.
And, indeed, it was no ordinary street; down the middle of Springbrook Boulevard, in Dayton, Ohio, ran the eponymous brook, a quietly burbling little stream through which my friends and I would wade, upsetting rocks and catching crawdads. (In case you're confused, the brook did not literally run down the middle of the street; the roadway was a long oval bisected by a strip of grass and trees, through which the creek ran.)
Unusual people lived along my part of the boulevard. Everyone's neighbors are strange or funny or mysterious to a degree, but my little stretch seemed particularly endowed with odd birds.
Across the street lived the twins, Holly and Heidi, and their mother, whose obsession with Elvis was unsettling.
Down from them lived Mrs. Hough and her son. Mrs. Hough could be relied upon for two things: Little Debbie oatmeal-creme cookies, if you knocked and asked nicely; and, every so often--but without fail--she would back her car out of her driveway, forget to turn the steering wheel, go down the embankment, and into the creek.
Directly next door to my house was Mr. and Mrs. Stover, a nice elderly couple who had a little vegetable garden that was always set upon by rabbits, no matter their efforts to keep them out. Mrs. Stover will never be forgotten for her unabashed snooping; it was highly unusual to be out in the driveway and not find her peering through the blinds, staring fixedly at you. You could make eye contact with her and her gaze would not waver nor her blank expression change.
Anyhow, one day, around 8 or 9 years of age, I was playing with the twins in the creek. It was summer, one of those elemental summer days that seem, when looking back as an adult, to be made of green leaves, blue sky, fluffy white clouds, yellow sun.
I suppose we were looking for crawdads (crayfish, to some of you). We may have been digging up the occasional car part, too; every so often you'd come across a side mirror or bit of tail-light from one of Mrs. Hough's depth-perception errors.
It was getting close to dinnertime. I knew I'd soon have to go in, but I really didn't want to. I wanted to stay out there, feeling my bare feet on the slippery, moss-covered rocks and teasing the twins, whose sole similarity to each other was that they both lisped.
For some time, though, I had really had to pee. But I didn't want to run into my house, worried that my parents would induce me to stay in. I didn't want to go into Holly and Heidi's place, either, because I found their mother rather terrifying, with her enormous hair and makeup so heavy that it seemed to make her face sag. Plus, I knew she'd want to show me some of her latest Elvis kitsch.
The situation was getting truly desperate though. I was at the point where I had to pee so bad that I got that strange tingly feeling in my molars; where I was unconsciously reaching down and squeezing the end of my ding-a-ling to hold it in; where I could think of nothing but peeing; and where, moreover, I was surrounded by the sound of running water.
I could take it no more. I quickly hopped and jumped over to where a tree grew out of the bank, hoping it would provide adequate cover from the girls, and further hoping that they hadn't noticed my distress. I was wearing shorts with an elastic waist. As I started to pull the front down, I furtively looked over to make sure I was unseen; at the same time as I pulled the front of my shorts down with my right hand, I was grabbing onto my dilly-ho-ho with my left hand. Something went wrong.
I immediately started peeing all over myself, starting with my face and, more specifically, my nostrils and eyes. So overcome had I been with joy at the prospect of imminent relief that my bladder had preceded my having fully gotten my wee willy winky out and pointed safely away from my body.
Shocked by the sting of urine in my eyes and, believe it or not, my sinuses, I started falling backward, and made quite a splash in every sense of the word. I never fell completely down, but my ruckus had attracted the attention of Heidi and Holly, who stood transfixed as I wrestled with myself, for the flow continued unabated and I still had not fully released my petit jesu from my shorts.
After several hours of this, it finally stopped. The twins, naturally, were howling with laughter. Mrs. Stover had probably gotten an eye-full, too (although not in the same way I had). I clambered up the bank, utterly humiliated and now quite ready to go in. I managed to get inside the house without my parents seeing me and asking me embarrassing questions I did not wish to answer.

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