Friday, December 30, 2005

the cold

It's been very cold.

It is my fourth winter in London, and the cold is not becoming easier. My hands, my nose, my feet, seem to freese within three minutes of cycling. Two pairs of socks and hiking boots, winter gloves and wooly scarf, all have a very limited effect. But it is my bladder that suffers most: it is unclear why, but I find I have to go much more frequently when the tempratures drop. As long as I'm cycling, I seem to control my body mechanisms. But it is when I arrive at the library, and have to lock the bike, that it feels almost impossible. I find myself dancing strange dances around the bike, trying my best to distract my body from its urges. I wonder what the guards think.

Twice in London I lost control on my bladder. Both times happened in February (not the same year). I arrived home late at night after an icy cycle. I was dying to go but somehow managed to open the door, bring the bike inside, and run to the toilets. Only there I could not manage to open my trousers: my hands were so frosen that I could not use my fingers. The frustration was unbearable. I could hold it no longer. Exasperated, I found myself squatting on the toilet seat, my pants wet and smelling of warm, fresh piss. I was laughing and crying at the same time, feeling relief and humilation. At the time, it seemed symptomathic of what London was doing to me: the ways in which it was robbing me of control over my life. It was a humbling experience.

But now I can say it's only piss. And there's nothing wrong with urine. I learnt this last year, at the Villas, when I came to realize the benefits of living with a chamber pot.


The Letter N said...

indeed, there is nothing wrong with urine, and it is our only sterile bodily fluid, as far as I know.

Anyway, I hope you have a warm and happy new year, and hopefully we'll meet again.

Elizabeth said...

Does this mean you are a girl?

mink said...

Some people drink it on a daily basis. They say it's good against cancer. I tried it a couple of times, just to see what's it like. It's alright. Warm and salty. Not the best soft drink I'd say. In a Stella Artois glass, it looked just like beer. Which is perhaps why in Australia they call it piss.

Elizabeth: why necessarily?

Elizabeth said...

Why be so coy?

mink said...

One of the reasons I enjoy writing in English is that it's not a heavily gendered language; unlike my mother tounge where almost every sentence I'd say would reveal my gender.
This ambiguity is a novelty which I enjoy and cherish too much. So I'm not going to call myself explicitly a girl or a boy, at least for now. Sorry no intention to tease or be coy.