A Short Essay From “In The Mousehole”
Phenomena are those rare events that drive a mother crazy. Sometimes she keeps them quiet, so the family won’t be embarrassed. I’m not so obliging. If you wonder what exactly falls into the category of phenomena, here is an example:
I reached for the alarm clock, my hand sliding along the smooth oak wood of the nightstand. My eyes popped open when my fingers dipped into a pool of water. Had it rained … inside?
The curtains felt dry to the touch as I pulled them to the side. The window glass was also dry and closed. Sitting up in bed and scanning the room, I found nothing to account for the water.
Three A.M. Might as well go back to sleep. Grabbing a handful of tissues, I sopped up the mess. The mystery could wait until morning.
By the time I’d washed my face and put on my contact lenses the next day, I remembered the nighttime puzzle. Better get those wet tissues off the wood.
They sat saturated in the middle of the table, a small pool of water surrounding them. Couldn’t be water … the white tissues had turned a pale yellow.
Yellow! I held them to my nose, jerking back when the pungent smell of ammonia hit my acute, mother-tested nasal passages.
“Everyone! Get in here!” I yelled in my outraged, newly-awakened Mom’s voice.
They trooped in, staggering and sleepy-eyed.
“Who peed on my nightstand last night?”
They looked at me like I’d said Santa was a girl.
Jared, our second son, the stoic one, glared, then responded. “That’s the weirdest question you’ve ever asked.”
Micah, the youngest, and still in diapers, said, “I did it.”
Snickers from everyone. Not only was he too short but would’ve had to re-diaper himself. Great idea––in my dreams!
“Jayson, did you do it?” Our oldest, the future lawyer’s mouth hung open.
“Well, did you?”
“Yeah, Mom. I woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee. I said to myself, `I’m tired of the same ole pot night after night. I think I’ll urinate on mom’s nightstand for a change.'”
“How about you, Daniel?” He was still in a fit of laughter over Jayson’s snide story.
Obviously, Natalie, our only girl, couldn’t have accomplished the feat. She lacked the equipment.
“Don’t even look at me, Mom,” Josh said.
There was only one person left.
“Yeah, right,” my husband sneered as all eyes turned on him.
I knew the quest for enlightenment was futile. They stood gawking at me as if I needed therapy.
I showed them the tissues.
Tried to make them smell the evidence.
They shook their heads and walked away.
Never did find out how pee got on my nightstand. Didn’t have the nerve to bring it up again.
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