During my trek through India, I was ecstatic that my best guy friend was coming to visit – so I had to hustle to get out of Rishikesh and into Shimla to be able to pick him up at the airport when he landed. I should also mention that my friend and I had fallen in love and spoke of a potential relationship so there was a desire to impress. There were no buses or trains that could get me to the airport on time….so this is the story of the Indian Mario Andretti and his gentlemanly ways that led me to peeing on myself…because we all need a laugh before the Holidays are in full swing.
I head out across the long, swaying bridge, dripping with monkeys, late in the evening to meet my taxi driver. He’s a short man possibly in his late thirties. All business with a twinkle in his eye. The booking agent, a cousin of my Indian family in Agra, has assured me that he is the best, and he will have me at the Shimla airport in time to pick up Cam. The taxi driver piles my backpack in the trunk, me in the backseat and heads out to wind around the mountains and dizzying dirt roads that reach from tourist-heavy Rishikesh to the quiet, local vacationer’s mountain town of Shimla –complete with Ferris wheel, fresh-picked cherries, and pony rides.
My quiet taxi driver is an India Mario Andretti. Holy Lord. I’m not sure if it’s scary or fun, but I opt for fun because choosing scary just leaves me a victim in the backseat of a car from which I am unable to escape, else I would be stranded alone in the middle of mountainous wilderness. So I lay down on the tattered seat. With the darkness all around me, I pretend I’m on Space Mountain or some other roller coaster that takes place in pitch black. After a while, it really is fun. I’m smiling to myself in the backseat. I’m sure I look like an idiot. I don’t care. I’m comfortable. I feel safe. I’m hurtling toward Cam, in my light blue soft, cottony Indian style pants – complete with the elastic waistband and the “hammer-pants” crotch that allows me to hide any accumulated fat. Oh no. I have to pee.
“Toilet,” I say to my Mr. Andretti. “Toilet,” I repeat, thinking if I say it more than once he’ll understand the urgency. I gotta go! The cedar, spruce, and fir trees continue to fly by the car windows. Finally, we stop. It’s 2AM. The quiet little store he’s pulled into is closed, as is the toilet. He shrugs. I wince. This is getting serious. I gotta go! It hurts I gotta go so bad!
We drive another mile or two. He slows the car and stops in the middle of the road. “Here,” he says, “Go here.” He gets out and opens the door for me, like a date. Like a date when you stop on the middle of the country road and let your lovely partner, that you’ve only just met, pee next to the car. Because that’s common. There is a steep mountain up on the left side of the car and a sheer drop off to the right. I look around confused with my Kleenex in hand. He walks me to the back of the car and motions to the dirt road. Like a true gentleman, he gets back in the driver seat and leaves me to do my business. I pray that no cars or trucks come hurtling around the corner. Jesus, that’s just what I need. What will my family think when they get the call that I’ve been squashed to death between a beater unmarked cab car and a truck on a dark mountain road with my pants around my ankles, urine splattered everywhere?
I hurry up. I pee. These pants are comfortable, but that damn hammer crotch is a pain in the ass when you’re trying to pee on the road in the pitch black. Lord, I hope I have it all out of the way. I scoot back in the cab and he’s pressing the gas before I even have the door closed. I sit down. It’s wet. Weird. The seat is wet. How did that happen?
Oh. My. God. I bet the bright red shame blushing my cheeks at the moment lit up the Western Himalayas. I peed on myself. All over my very own hammer crotch. And now I will pick up Cam nervous, excited, and covered in my own pee. Perfect.
Because that clearly shows I’ve evolved. Backward. I’ve evolved backward.
Gone from corporate success to girl who pees on her hammer pants.