The urge to urinate brings out the strangest dreams. (This one with a recurring theme — that of being unable to climb or access the thing most desired or needed.)
I was living in an odd, rambling communal house. I remember only one of the other inhabitants — K., with whom I cannot imagine sharing anything (K. is someone with whom I have nothing in common). There were others, I’m sure, perhaps his girlfriends.
There was a room on the middle floor that was pleasantly musty, as though all the best remembrances of childhood were stored there. I found it as though it were a discovery. I could not get into it when I wanted to, or at least it seemed like that.
All of the bedrooms (and the only bath) were on a high floor and were set into what was essentially a cliff. There was a sheer drop down several stories to nothingness. To get to these rooms, including the bath (which was last), you had to climb and cross on narrow black piping that kept corkscrewing around. It was treacherous, but seemingly I did it with ease several times, without thought or fear or hesitation.
I climbed a rickety ladder to another room that had once been mine. There was a flyer for an “Amison,” which was announcing it had gone out of business. It seemed to have something to do with personalities or psychology, but I could not remember what or when I had used them. Despite the ambiguity, I sharply regretted their loss. “Oh, when did that happen?”
I kept having to negotiate the ladder. There were pieces missing that made it dangerous; it was the kind of thing that appeared in the media. “Why would this be allowed?” At the end of the ladder were entertainment — music one time, comedy another, a beauty contest another. The women were helping each other squish their prodigious breasts into their bathing suits.
Finally, I realised I had to urinate. Badly. I tried repeatedly to climb the winding corkscrew and to go across to the last room, but couldn’t. Fear. K. was in that part of the house; he may not have been alone. It was becoming increasingly painful. I tried to force myself. I could not do it. I remembered I must have done it hundreds or even thousands of times — but not this time. I tried to think of alternatives that would not be disgusting. I went to the floor and room immediately below (even though there had been nothing there but cliff earlier) and found a basin. R-e-l-i-e-f. Ah. There was more in the basin than I thought there would be. But soon I noticed I didn’t feel any relief at all. I still had to go. Then I realised that I was sleeping and would have to rouse myself and get up.
Rotten hormones. They make me feel like I have to even when I don’t. It’s like they shrink the size of my bladder in half.
(I know what you’re thinking: “Er, thanks for sharing.”)