I have a long and complicated relationship with my bladder. Twenty three years ago, newly formed and all, my bladder was unaccustomed to social niceties, and so it went as it pleased. I was an innocent kid, happily peeing, unaware of the urinary restrictions placed upon us by the wider world. Strangers who lifted me often were peed upon, much to my mother’s embarrassment.
As I grew up, I learnt of the dikats. Of a concept called toilet where one peed. My mind, body, legs and bladder worked at different speeds, sometimes leading to emergency situations and sometimes beyond help. As I climbed up the ladder of age, my bladder behaved itself apart from the occasional mishap.
School was another story altogether. My school believed in discipline, the kind where children couldn’t pee when they wanted. My bladder was most offended by these new rules, but peer pressure won over pee pressure. I often used to be the first kid to run to the loo during breaks. Any requests for ‘teacher toilet’ weren’t entertained. The only way then was to say ‘teacher fast toilet’, something I learnt quickly.
Now we have reached a compromise, me and my bladder. All through the day I do as it pleases, when I sleep it won’t disturb me. Occasionally it breaks the rules and I grumble as my dreams (usually involving Mallika Sherawat, Angelina Jolie or both) are interrupted. Life goes on though.
Last week something happened that shook the very foundations of our deal. As part of a ‘drug test’ that my new employer (yes thank you thank you, big company and all) wanted to conduct on me, I was expected to give a urine sample. Acquaintances warned me not to take cough syrups and the like. Friends hid my weed. On the designated day I presented myself at the clinic. A large woman with a Mississippi accent took care of my paperwork as I set out to do the deed in a paper cup. Then it happened. I couldn’t go. My bladder refused to co-operate. I was puzzled. Usually I am the one to know where all the loo’s in a building are. I know the nearest loo from any point, in any direction, in my university. And it was embarrassing. So I had to do the unpleasant task of telling the Oprah-lookalike that I couldn’t sample, and wouldn’t be doing so at least for some more time. She gave me a look that would make most men pee in their pants, but bladderji just wasn’t in the mood. So I sat there, reading last season’s gossip, and waited. Forty minutes later I stood up, did the job and Oprah gave me a smile and said “Thank ya honey, its fresh, coz you just made it”.
Outside I slapped my forehead. Cursed myself, slapped my forehead again. Halfway home, I felt the need to pee.