Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Should have pissed in the bushes

My family reunion was this past Sunday. That was a humbling experience. Jasmine had to be coerced into going. She was certain she would stand out. I agreed that she would, but told her she stands out everywhere she goes. Why not at my family reunion? She made me promise not to let anything embarrassing happen to her. I did, grudgingly.

After 3 hours of driving, we found the correct dirt road in the middle of BFE (that's "bum fucked egypt" for you post 80's crowd) and drove into the woods at an excitingly swift pace down a single lane dirt road up and down hills, around curves and through bends. Jazz looked like a cat being pushed into a toilet, her arms and legs were spread wide trying to hang on and she had a death grip on the Oh Jesus bar above her head.

We hung a left and drove another couple of miles into the bowels of the Earth. At the base we found a creek and a whole slew of folks I have the good fortune to share a bloodline with. She reminded me of my promise not to embarrass her as we stepped out for the first round of introductions.

Jasmine was quickly swept away, a new doll for the hillbillies to play with. Since the reunion is a covered dish luncheon, I grabbed my contributory bag of Fritos and can of bean dip and got to mingling. Roughly twenty minutes had passed when Jazz came back to me and whispered in my ear that she needed to use the restroom.

“I suggest you choose a tree off in that direction, away from the poison oak.” She cocked her head to the side and gave me "the look." I sighed. “There’s a Johnny on the Spot over behind that truck if you can handle the tight space.” Jasmine is claustrophic, but apparently pissing on her ankles was not a better option.

About ten minutes later Jasmine was still missing, which surprised me because I couldn’t imagine her taking a shit in a portable can. Another ten minutes went by and I started to worry. Surely she should be done by now. I gave her a few more minutes and then decided something had to be wrong. I walked across the grounds to the Johnny and got within a few feet when I heard her crying.

“Oh, shit! Jazz, are you ok?” I knocked on the door, but she didn’t respond. “Jasmine, answer me!” I heard her sniff.


I jerked on the handle but the door was locked. “Open the door, dammit. Are you hurt?” Was she angry that I brought her here? Did something bite her? Did she pee on herself by mistake? What the fuck?!

“I can’t!”

“Yes, you can. Open the damn door. What’s wrong?”

“It’s stuck!”

For a moment I stood confused. What’s stuck, the door or…nature? It was awkward for about three seconds when she must have known I needed more info. “The door lock is rusted and won’t open!”

“How did you lock it in the first place?”


I quickly covered my mouth. Good God, if she heard me laugh at her now she’d leave me forever. “Hang on, baby, I’ll get some help.”

“NO! You do it!”

“Jazz, I don’t have a screwdriver in my back pocket.” Could she hear the smile on my face?

“Figure it out, Jay, I’m serious! And quit laughing!”

“I can’t help it. You’re locked in the can!” I knew to her the Johnny was an impossibly small space but it was vented and lit and she really had nothing to do but wait.

I ended up pushing up and toward the hinges on the door so that Jasmine was able to wiggle the latch back across. When the door finally flew open she was sweaty and red-faced with mascara on her cheeks from crying and her hair was moist and sticking up all over. She threw her arms over my shoulders and started crying all over again while I laughed uncontrollably into her neck. It was the first time I’d ever seen Jasmine not have game. She was scared and silly and real.

“Why are you laughing at me?”

I felt it want to jump out, but I reigned it back in long enough for me to assess whether I wanted to be that honest, then noticed her spikey, wet eyelashes and decided I did.

“Because I love you.”

I think she got snot on me when she kissed me.