I wake up during the night, my bladder screaming with discomfort.
This has to be taken care of IMMEDIATELY. I feel around in the dark for my flashlight, searching, searching -- to my left? no ... to my right? no ... it must be in my pack. I cannot hold this much longer.
My hands wildly tear open the pack in the darkness and I continue the flashlight-search. As the pressure builds, I find clothes, sunscreen, maps … yes! Finally I have light.
I quickly dress, more for mosquito protection than for warmth or modesty. It’s a tough call to make right now, but I throw on pants and a shirt while rocking back and forth urgently – incessantly. I honestly don’t know if I’ll make it and consider with self-disgust the mess I may soon make.
I move onto my next battle – the tent zipper. Of course, this last barrier to freedom is caught in the tent fabric. I fiddle with both zippers, getting them stuck again, and again, and again. I beg for it to open. It does.
I practically fall out of the tent. It’s possible that I am kneeling beside it while peeing. I may even be moaning with satisfaction. Please do not judge me here.
Vast legions of mosquitoes have clearly heard my struggles and recruited neighbouring clans to attack every possible patch of bare skin. I hardly notice; the relief is that good.
But all too soon, I stop. I am empty.
I am so angry! All this effort for like 10 seconds of urination? This is a new low point in my life. Is it really just me, or is there a freakish law of the universe that gives your bladder senior citizen tendencies while sleeping in a tent?
I crawl back to the tent, bitten and ashamed. I begin to cry softly as I realize that I've left the tent door open. Countless bloodthirsty, unforgiving mosquitoes await my return.
A new low indeed.