Pissing in the streets of Paris on New Years. Those were the words that I heard when skyping with my friend, Alex, who was studying abroad last year, and I immediately thought that she was weird for urinating in a public place. She continued to describe the people in the streets flowing towards the Eiffel tower that was supposed to sparkle at midnight. Then she thought about my statement that she was weird for going to the bathroom in the street and posed the question, haven’t you ever peed someplace you shouldn’t. I was taken back because the girl that I knew would not be so straightforward. I started to go through my past and realized that I had done exactly the same thing. Well, not exactly the same thing but pretty close.
It was raining again in Clarion County, Pa. It seemed to always rain in the morning when I was on my way to A.M. kindergarten. Sligo Elementary School sat on the corner of Madison Street Extension and Shamrock Drive right beside the park with a $2 Tuesday swimming pool. My grandmother pulled in to let me off, and Mrs. Shook, a petite woman with a hairdo the same size as her, greeted me at the door. The day went as it always did, the book bags went on the rack behind the wall, we practiced our colors, and learned to tie our shoes, but the most important part of the day was when Mrs. Shook announced that it was time to retrieve snack from the cafeteria. Snack helper was an honor that could only be compared to receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor. This time I was not going to be beat by Rachel, the girl with a perfect smile and off centered pig tails, again. I had a problem. My 5-year-old bladder was not going to be able to hold up for the long run. The extreme pressure of all 400 mL on my bladder made my kindergarten brain work in double time to think through the situation. I took my chance, and executed my plan when Mrs. Shook turned her head.
I stepped quickly with my sandal covered feet, and tiptoed behind the rack where the book bags hung. This spot was ideal. I had the privacy of being behind a wall, and it was in the back of the room. My plan worked. I released all the pressure from my bladder on to the knock off white marble linoleum. Once my plan was done, I walked back to my seat, taking into account that Mrs. Shook had not yet picked a helper and had not noticed my quick but relieving disappearance.
She asked again for a helper to go get the snack. This time my hand shot up, and she looked around and she winked her bug-like eyes in my direction. All of the anticipation was built up. My stomach almost doubled over, my name getting ready to roll off her tongue. Before she was able to announce my name, a shriek came from behind the backpack rack. I thought my plan was falling apart fast.
Mrs. Shook darted back to find Mackenzie, a small girl that slightly resembled Piggy from Lord of the Flies, lying on the floor in a puddle. We all heard Mrs. Shook’s disapproving words and even her tell the girl the location of the bathroom from our seats. I knew Mrs. Shook thought the puddle had belonged to Mackenzie. I started to laugh underneath my breath knowing that she had slipped and discovered a well-hydrated surprise. Mrs. Shook now in a state of shock had instructed Rachel and myself to go find the janitor and on the way back to pick up snack. This was not my ideal scenario, but I got the opportunity to push the milk wagon down the hallway and that was all that mattered.
After I had told Alex this story, she realized that this was the moment in my life where “the Austin does what he wants to get what he wants attitude comes from." This attitude has gotten me in trouble more than once, but it has also got me to some of the best moments in my life. In all honesty, I do find it embarrassing that my 5-year-old self would have the audacity to go to the bathroom on the floor by the book bags. Also, after my prefrontal cortex had fully developed, I feel a bit of remorse toward Mackenzie’s slip and fall. But that moment when I was pushing that milk wagon down the hallway wearing my Blue’s Clues outfit is still one of the proudest moments in my life. The only thing that my attitude can not fix is jealousy because I am not the one pissing in the streets of Paris.