Under Pressure

Have you ever interrupted your pee midway? Like, there was an emergency and you absolutely had to stop that entire process for one reason or the other? Please don’t laugh, but it happened to me yesterday.

London is a terrible place. No freedom to do anything. Cameras everywhere and no abandoned quiet corners to take an emergency leak. I don’t know what I was thinking when I left school. I can’t say I wasn’t warned. I felt the slight register of pressure to urinate just before leaving but I put it off as not urgent. It could wait till I got home and if I did not leave at that time, I’d have to wait for the next bus for thirty extra minutes. Google, my friend, told me.

I did not reckon with the effects of the cold outside. Or the large drink I’d ordered with my two for Tuesdays Domino pizza. I didn’t consider that for the greater part of my journey I would be standing in the crowded bus full of teenagers reveling in the Halloween madness. I also did not realize how long fifteen minutes was when I calculated the walk home. I was using my African urinary mathematics in London and Google did not help me here.  Don’t judge me, I was very young then.

I could actually see the lights of my flat from ten minutes away when the call from nature came in. It was so sudden and impossible to reject. I instinctively stopped walking and held my thighs together like a child refusing to leave home for the first day at school. Immediately my Nigerian ghetto training kicked in. I started searching for the nearest bushes, calculating the next long enough gap in traffic to avoid glaring headlights that would reveal my identity, and scanning the horizon for any pretty ladies or uniformed policemen.

The trouble was, I could not find any bushes. There was a built up neighborhood on my right and a cemetery on my left. My considerations for the police or revealing headlights had evaporated already within the last thirty seconds. Now all I was screaming in my head was location location location!!! Looking back now, the cemetery should have been the obvious choice, but I had been scarred for life by Willy Willy the village ghost as a child. I wasn’t about to be urinating on someone’s grave only to have a shaking, withering hand grip my instrument and refuse to let go.

So I went right. At this point, I don’t think I was in control of my legs anymore. It was as if I was knocking at the locked gates of heaven with the hounds of hell twenty feet behind me. The first drips of the dam were knocking at my door and any attempt to squeeze the door shut tighter would have backfired into squeezing the drops out.

Olympus had fallen.

I swiftly approached the gate of the house and stepped inside the small wicket gate. My jeans were buttoned all up and my frozen fingers fumbled foolishly to free frisky Freddie. I think I almost blanked out just before release came. The target was a bed of roses and I started thinking about whether the minerals in my pee would be beneficial to the plants.

My thoughts were interrupted by a small bark. Were the roses barking or was there….? A dog! I think I had violated his territory by peeing directly next to his sleeping spot. I hadn’t minded or noticed earlier when the motion-activated security lights of the house came on or when the cctv cameras focused on me. All of a sudden there I was, a criminal disturbing the public peace at midnight in a posh neighborhood. Wasn’t this the perfect stereotype crime?

I had never known such shock or fear in my life. I jumped back instantly, splashing a wild stream like a hail of bullets. I hadn’t quite finished my download but the network had been reset. Billy the barking bulldog was already on the hem of my garment, like Jacob who wrestled with the angel for a blessing. I felt remorse, regret, and a great sadness. I’d have to kick him off and hurt him in full view of the cameras or just hold up my jeans and run off into the night until he let go of me.

A light came on upstairs in a window. The neighborhood was waking up. I had to act fast. I buttoned the top of my jeans and took off before I could be captured by a human. I had to half run, half hop because Billy would not let go. I didn’t realize I was in the cemetery until I saw the first epitaph. I think then my remorse turned into anger. This was a matter of life and death! Couldn’t a young nigga take an emergency pee in peace and quiet without being set upon by the law enforcement agencies?! I bent down and tugged Billy’s little tail. His mouth came open to bark and I seized my chance to secure my garment away from his reach. I picked him up and tossed him gently in a nearby bush and took off for my apartment.

I think he chased me a bit before giving up. I didn’t look back to find out. I made it past my room door and didn’t stop running till I got to the shared toilet.

I couldn’t even heave a proper sigh of relief when I finally got to finish what I had started ten minutes ago. I was panting and swearing out of sheer happiness and victory over Billy.

Don’t judge me, please. I was desperate.

For sound advice is a beacon,
good teaching is a light,
moral discipline is a life path.
(Prov. 6 vs 23 , The Message)


I love to learn. I love to teach. For me the two are the same.


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