Fun piece on "lack of necessities" at the top of a mountain
|SKI AND PEE|
After skiing and drinking several cups of coffee at an unfamiliar ski area, we were on a lift to the top.
“Hot chocolate break,” I said to my husband. That’s ski-talk for “I have to pee.” My finger tips were numb and I pulled my collar up against the wind and blowing snow.
We rode a high speed quad. Such modern equipment dictated a lodge at the top. We skied off the lift and down a small hill. In the white expanse stood two lime green plastic porta-potties.
“How bad do you have to go?” My husband asked.
I looked at him, then back at the porta-potties. “Pretty bad.”
I took off my skis, trumped to the first one and opened the door with a mittened hand. The smell of a stairwell in a downtown parking garage wrapped around my head. It threatened consciousness. I slammed it back in its prison.
“Door Number Two?” My husband called.
I trudged on to the second porta-potty and jerked open the flimsy door. This was the chemical smell of an airline toilet, eye-watering, but tolerable. I gave my husband a thumbs-up, entered, shut the door, opened the toilet lid and faced the door, two inches from my nose.
My ski boots, plastic with snow on their soles, slipped forward on the plastic floor. I caught myself, hands on both walls. My bladder squeezed with new urgency. I looked down. The floor tilted forward.
Stabilized, I took my mittens off. Where to put them? There was the floor or the floor. I dropped them between my boots. My frozen fingers unsnapped and unzipped. I shrugged out of the top of my one piece ski suit, regretting not wearing pants and a jacket, in the ten square inches of space allotted. I forgot the innumerable pockets I was turning upside-down, all of which were closed. Except for the one with my cell phone.
I heard something hit plastic and looked behind me. The phone bounced off a wall and headed directly for the hole. My hands flailed out to grab it, but it hit off the edge of my hand, bounced off the opposite wall and headed back to the hole. Panicked, I sat on the toilet. It hit my knee and slid down my pant leg.
I chuckled in relief and slid my hand in to retrieve it. The porta potty lurched forward, sending me into the door, which I’d forgotten to lock. My head banged it open and I pitched face first into the snow, one hand grasping the cell phone.
I scuttled on elbows and knees dragging the top of my ski suit under me and looked back. The porta-potty leaned at a precipitous angle, like an old man looking for lost glasses. My husband stared at me, mesmerized.
He poled over as I struggled to sit and pull my ski suit up. I handed him my cell phone.
“Honey,” he said. “Why don’t you let the voicemail pick up?”
I looked at him. “Tree,” I said. “Find a large tree.”