Creative Non-Friction

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I have an acquaintance who secretly peed in an urn in an antique shop in Bisbee. He filled it to the brim, while the unaware owner at the cash register remained Prim, Proud and Proper—the three P's in antiquing parlance. I can only imagine the owner's reaction when he discovered the travesty! (I'm thinking of Principal Skinner lamenting the vandalized Springfield Puma.)

Of course, my acquaintance did not defile the urn out of malice. After three Electric Dave's and that cool Mule Mountain wind, he simply had to go, so he relieved himself in the most voluminous and inconspicuous vase he could find. Logical, I guess.

He told me this story while I was having lunch, which somehow made it funnier, as did the fact that he doesn't at all look like a public urination/antique desecration kind of guy.

But it made me think: Haven't we all "held it in" at some point in our lives? Are you doing it right now? Doing harm to yourself by holding in anger, love, truth, guilt, liquids? Denying natural functions and feelings because of social norms just might be the oldest clash in human history. Why do we do it to ourselves? After all, Teddy Roosevelt is rumored to have peed in the saddle, both pragmatically and recreationally. People in New York City piss on everything, and look at how far that's gotten them. Even John Hancock metaphorically golden showered King George with that outsized signature of his.

A long time ago, I relieved myself of law school. I just had to go. It didn't matter that I labored through the LSAT, or that my resume was about to enter a downward spiral. All that mattered was shedding a burden. So, one morning, when I should have been chewing on torts, I got in my car and drove out of town. I drove and drove. I drove until I knew the only way I would ever come back was free: a step down in others' eyes perhaps, but fully relieved nonetheless.

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