Every week we have a prompt to play with. This week, the prompt was “An immediate need to relieve oneself”. To that end I present the following short:
You ever have that moment when you just know if you don’t deal with an issue now, and I mean right now, it’s gonna get messy? You’re running along and that urge hits and you think, “Nah, I can deal with it later.”
But later might not get there in time, if you know what I mean.
I’m standing there in line for the movie when it hits. The urge. I’m just standing there looking like a complete dope telling myself, “Nope. Just wait. You can make it. At least until you get the ticket.”
I mean, I know people can see me, right? Other customers, the ticket sellers, the construction crew repairing some kind of elaborate display, those little dudes that take your ticket stub, all of them. They can see me standing in line, kinda doing that dance thing. It’s not too bad yet, but as time goes on, I know I’ll be giving myself away. The line shifts forward a pace and I can feel the pressure start to build.
“Just a few more minutes, man,” I whisper out loud. The blonde chick in front of me turns and gives this half-hearted grin.
“I know, right?” she says in some kind of exaggerated surfer accent. “It’s like, we should be up there by now, you know?”
I agree and chuckle at what she thinks is the situation I was addressing. She turns and looks away, the way polite people do. The urge is intensifying now, a steady increase of pressure, and a part of me wonders if I can even make it through the line. I keep thinking of other things, desperately trying to keep my mind occupied. I watch the construction guys working. Beats staring at the concession stand crew.
Surfer Girl is getting her tickets now, and I’m gritting my teeth and taking slow breaths. “Please, please, please,” I’m thinking over and over.
She turns and waves a pair of tickets at me before flouncing off. I don’t watch her, even as enticing as the rear view might be. I want to get my ticket bought before I lose control completely. The guy takes my card and punches in the ticket request. He misses the credit card slot the first time and the extra five seconds is an eternity. I’m licking my lips now waiting for the feeling to subside, even though I know it’s not going to happen. I sign the receipt in a flash, my signature looking like a squiggle, and snatch my ticket and my card from him. Two steps away and I almost lose it, a cold feeling washing over me. I can’t wait any more.
I tuck the ticket in my pocket and start off on a fast walk across the lobby, my shoes squeaking on the tile. Closer with every step. The pressure is building to that almost intolerable level and I know it’s gonna be too late in minutes.
I snatch a screwdriver from the construction crew guy and his leather toolbelt. A dead sprint now as he jumps up and gives chase.
I brace the little cross pattern of the Phillips head against my forehead and dive headfirst for the wall. As the handle hits the wall and I feel the sharpness of the impact, I know the pressure of the screaming voices will be gone soon.