Prompt: There is nothing more uncomfortable than when you are driving down a deserted stretch of highway with a full bladder. Guys have it easy. They can pull over anywhere, discreetly pull it out, and go. Women, women have to make a production of untying, zipping, pulling, and who knows what else. Not to mention we have to worry about some freak jumping out of the bushes. But I couldn't hold it anymore. In hindsight, I should have just peed my pants and kept going but how could I know...
Mind Your Pees and Qs
There is nothing more uncomfortable than when you are driving down a deserted stretch of highway with a full bladder. Guys have it easy. They can pull over anywhere, discreetly pull it out, and go. Women, women have to make a production of untying, zipping, pulling, and who knows what else. Not to mention we have to worry about some freak jumping out of the bushes. But I couldn't hold it anymore. In hindsight, I should have just peed my pants and kept going but how could I know what was going to happen would happen when I pulled the car over to relieve myself.
It was dark, it was late, and I was driving home from a girl's night out in Northshire. I had used the facilities at Jan's house before leaving but there had been a lot of wine sampling and coffee drinking and I found myself needing to go again but I had already foolishly passed the South County exit and it was another ten miles to the first Greenville exit and I realized that I wasn't going to make it with the undeniably terrible urge to urinate suddenly overwhelming me. I began whimpering and shuffling in the driver's seat with a sensation that told me I was about to let go. I hadn't had this type of experience since I was a kid.
The road was deserted in both directions and I saw that there were no guard rails in the section I was on, with some woods not that far from the road. Surely I could quickly pull over, jog down the slight incline, hide in the dark brush, and let the river flow.
It was not something I'd done before but this was an unexpected and unusual emergency. I certainly couldn't pee in the driver's seat of my car so, checking the rear view mirror and seeing no headlights behind me, I hastily pulled the car over to a skidding stop off the emergency lane and on the road's shoulder.
I killed the lights, took the keys, and hurried down the incline to the bushes to do my quick personal private duty.
My goal was to be done before any headlights appeared on the highway. But it was dark in the brush and it was hard to do what I had to do while keeping one eye on the roadway. I pulled down my slacks and panties and squatted to relieve myself when I felt the soft ground by my feet give way and suddenly I was falling backwards, head over heels, ass over tea cup (my shoes went flying from my feet) and I was tumbling down a hill I didn't realize was behind me.
It was an out of control slide with my arms and legs flailing, my slacks and panties ejected from my body as I rolled-slid-tumbled down the embankment in a dizzy scary amusement park horror ride, as if I had been stuffed inside a turning clothes dryer that was put on high spin.
I'm not sure how long of a tumble it was because I was too dazed and confused to determine what happened. Luckily, there were no rocks, trees or cliffs - just brush and dirt and weed-like grass and I didn't stop my free-fall until the hill flattened out and I came to a rolling splat of a stop in a bed of soft green moss.
It took me a while to come to my senses and for my head to stop spinning. I was laying on my stomach, naked from the waist down in the dark of night and a few moments later I felt something cold and wet on my neck, combined with the sounds of sniffing.
"Frank," I heard a male voice command. "Leave her alone."
I opened my eyes and glanced over my shoulder and when my eyes finally came into focus I saw a man standing on a path with a brown and white dog on a leash. I knew he could see my naked backside (he was shining his flashlight on me which only made it worse) but I was still too discombobulated to react.
"Were you attacked?" the man asked with concern.
"I...I...I fell," I managed to say.
"I was...I had to go to the bathroom," I mumbled with shamed embarrassment.
The man glanced up the steep high hill and shined the beam of his flashlight that way. "Your clothes could be anywhere," he said. "In the dark."
I was afraid to move and I tried to hide my exposed rear with the tail of my shirt but it was all bunched up from the fall and not offering any cover.
"Are you hurt?" He asked.
"I...I don't think so," I said.
"Let me help you up," he offered and I was in no position to argue.
I felt a strong arm under my pit and suddenly I was standing on my bare feet. I dropped my hand between my legs to try to cover my privates and the man took off his red flannel shirt.
"Tie this around your waist," he suggested.
I took the shirt from him and did the best I could to look dignified.
"Your car is up there?" he asked, pointing up the embankment.
"Oh, god, the keys," I moaned. "I had them in my hand."
"Well, they could be anywhere too."
"I left my phone in the car," I groaned.
He gave me a funny look and he shined the flashlight in my face. "Shannon Ashton," he realized.
"Oh My God," I said with wide eyes. "You're Otis Wilson."
"Small world," he sighed.
How much more mortifying and humiliating could it be to know that Otis Wilson had seen my bare ass and maybe other lady parts? It was better not to think about that reality but now I had to contend with the fact that I was standing in the dark with the guy I had beaten in the last Greenville Town Council election, winning the at-large seat as a first timer that he had held for fifteen years.
To say the moment was awkward would be an understatement.
"My house isn't far," Mr. Wilson told me. "Come with me."
What was I supposed to say - No? I let out a sigh and I followed him and his dog along the path, the beam of his flashlight leading the way, cutting through the scary dark encased by intimidating woods all around us and the occasional swooshing sound of cars passing on the interstate high above us.
I saw lights ahead and made out the image of a modern log cabin.
"It's the last house in Greenville," Mr. Wilson told me when we reached the yard. "That tree down there marks the boundary with South County."
He led me and the dog up the front steps and inside the log cabin which was rustically comfortably decorated and furnished. Now that we were in the light, I could see his features better. He was in a tee shirt now having given me his shirt, with jeans and hiking boots and a black Nike ball cap which he removed. His sandy brown hair was streaked with gray around the temples and he hadn't shaved in a few days.
I caught a image of myself on a mirror on the wall. Grass and twigs in my rustled black hair, my sweater tattered and my blouse wrinkled. The arms of his shirt covered the V between by legs and the rest of it protected my backside.
"Wait here," he instructed and he disappeared into a side room, returning a few moments later with a pair of folded green sweats. "These are my daughter's," he explained, handing the sweats to me. "They should fit. Why don't you take a shower?" He suggested. You're all dirty and scratched and you sort of smell like..." his voice trailed off.
I wanted to die when I realized I must have peed on myself during the original ass over teacup flop. He gestured to the bathroom door and I figured the best thing for me to do was to go hide in there and drown my humiliated sorrows.
I took a hot shower, hoping to wash away all the horrible memories of this disastrous night.
When I emerged from the bathroom refreshed and wearing the green sweats, Mr. Wilson was making coffee in the kitchen area of the large open space of the cabin's interior.
"It's decaf," he let me know, handing me a mug. "I called the Staties. They're towing your car to my store so you don't have to worry about it getting rear ended or vandalized on the highway."
"Oh," I said, not sure if I should be grateful or offended.
"I can drive you home," he offered.
I was about to demand that he do just that right this instant but then I realized I wouldn't be able to get inside the condo without my keys.
"Well, is there somebody you can stay with tonight?" Mr. Wilson asked when I told him of my predicament.
How would I explain myself?
He saw the look on my face. "You can stay here," he said. "The bed in the guest room is quite comfy."
"I don't think that's a good idea," I said nervously.
"Sure it is," Mr. Wilson replied. "Nobody has to know about any of this."
I spent a year campaigning against Otis Wilson, calling him a conservative Neanderthal gun nut – an over the hill, out of touch fossil (even though he wasn't yet forty), left behind by history.
I was hardly gracious when I won and he called to concede the election and I told everybody in the post-election coverage that he deserved to lose which, in hindsight, was pretty mean and cruel - obviously I was a sore winner.
And now he was offering me a place to stay - somehow, sleeping under his roof seemed hypocritical and inappropriate after the way I behaved during the campaign and on election night, swept up in my own hype and excitement and forgetting the first rule of politics - stay humble.
"It's late," Mr. Wilson said. "Why don't you turn in?"
And that's how I spent the night at Otis Wilson's house.