An Unmistakable Urge

An Unmistakable Urge

A Story by R.W. Sigur

A pilot is faced with a most torturous situation.

I still have nearly thirty-nine minutes left when that unmistakable urge hits. It creeps in slow, but soon grows impatient. As best I can, I try to draw my mind away. I stare below and make connections to the patterns created by the sea of civilians. They are good people, here from some tiny town perhaps, hoping to catch a glimpse of a celebrity or better yet, an encounter. The stories I indulge in for them, help to separate my mind from my body as this disconnect is of the upmost importance to me. I know they envision themselves cruising down the strip in a polished rental,  pulling up to a traffic signal and getting directions from their favorite reality star. They scan the dark corners of a hip LA eatery and see their favorite funny man, chatting over his next project. What they do not hope for is fist fight between the saggy-bottomed Spiderman and the tubby Freddie Kruger getting out of hand or some pick pocket to snap up their Walk of Fame satchels. These gifted satchels are their life line in this strange land. I could not imagine what they would do if they lost their coupons to wax museum or their Hollywood sign visor. It my job to keep watch. And right now my attention is being pulled deep within myself. As always, I  kept my fluid intake to the least of my hydration needs. But what do you do when you're over two thousand feet in the air, piloting a helicopter. I can't exactly set this bird to cruise and take a leak out the window (this thought did enter my mind). A more obvious solution would be to relieve myself in any empty container that may be lying around. There is no such container, I pride myself on a clean flight environment. I need a new thought. 

My friends are often curious about my job. Basically, I serve as a watchful eye to any chaos on the street below. Now chaos is probably too strong a word for most situations, but in a city with such dense population, the smallest situation can create just that. I'm looking down at a Ford Focus that is moving slowly down the Walk of Fame, it should be noted that I have a sharp eye for vehicle makes and models just by looking at the tops. The Focus is driving  at their own speed, no doubt a combination of an amateur photography session and vigilante people watching going on within. If the Toyota Tundra (1999 model, best guess) that follows is doing the same, the lack of attention may lead to a little rear ending. As simple as the accident may be, what it does is a create a chain of events leading quite possibly to a murder or maybe just manslaughter. It's nearing three o'clock which is the kickoff to rush hour and this area is a dividing drive from people heading in all directions around Los Angeles. One tiny bump, ripples into a backup in that respected lane, diverting all the traffic into just one. This spill over forms, in an instant, a line that leads past Highland. Drivers now self-serve. Their one goal is to get home and their personal goal, although shared with most around, is paramount. The selfishness takes a toll on the already low leveled patients of the commuters. I make that call, getting the situation tended to before war breaks out. The swifter my response, the greater the safety of all caught up in this. The Focus makes it along just fine. I am thankful for this because first, safety is still in place and secondly, my mind got to wonder, but it came back to me. I look over at my water bottle and its vibrating taunt. I know before I even think this, that I will not do it, but I picture myself slugging back mouthfuls. Me, getting to the to a point of no return and just doing it. Urinating into a bottle top is far more challenging than one might imagine. The opening is narrow, both the bottle and my urethra. The coordination it would take for me to unzip, clear a path free of underwear and shirt end, place my valve of relief accurately against its mouth and be relaxed enough to allow flow is beyond me. Couple that with still safety piloting a near short ton chopper and you have a level of skill that far surpasses that which I possess. 

I have expressed much of my mental flight science to pals one too many times. Large, slow circles are the key. A tight flight path with almost certainly lead to a dizzy spell. I made this mistake once and shall not make it again. The people that live in the residential buildings below must take me for granted. I realize that the reverberation that I create can certainly cause an unnecessary pause in their conversations. Conversations, which I can only imagine, seem important only to those within them. They should use the forced pause as a moment to thank me, as a moment to appreciate what they have; someone to keep watch for suspicious behavior in their neighborhood and immediate access to a restroom. 

I am at a place that could have the most loyal solider crack. Any government secret I had tucked away would come pouring out to rid myself of this torture. Actually, this should be a more humane form of torture. Catch a spy, wrap a thick rubber band around his manhood and force him to drink water, clean water and lots of it. In no time every enemy hideout, every high-ranking official's name and whereabouts would be flow like an auctioneer’s chant. It really should not be like this, biologically speaking. When our bodies over heat, without choice, we sweat. When we come into contact with an allergen, we sneeze. Urination should be involuntary. While it grosses me out a bit to think of a world in which we just had no control over this bodily function, I'm sure we would get used to it. Perhaps we would have to continue to wear diaper and just change and clean ourselves frequently, but it would be a normal part of life. I should wear a diaper when I fly. The smell would be my biggest concern, however, there has to be some adult diapers with deodorizers. Also, I hate being damp, ever. I hate this feeling much more though.

Kids, and my guess childish ones, are playing in the water fountain at the Highland Shops. I would venture to say that at least two of them have peed themselves. Lucky b******s. I know there is one just letting the water shoot into his chubby mouth, half drinking it, half letting it dribble down his chin to rinse away the stain from his Mint Frappuccino. Kids shouldn't drink things that they cannot pronounce. The side of my mouth cracks open as I half yawn and there is a grit over my tongue. I am thirsty and liquid is my enemy. Right now I feel like Superman and I sympathise with his kryptonite conundrum.  Water created me, it's where I came from and now, under this new condition, it would be the death of me. Why most we deal with this? It's hard, but I try and let myself believe that this is a great feeling. It should be that way. How happy the world would be if we had a rush of serotonin in response to a need for urination. People would hold it as long as they could to keep this feeling. I guess that would be an issue. I for one, may simply never go if that were the case. So, maybe the terrible misery is of mild benefit, but couldn't it just come in waves, like a friendly reminder. Every ten minutes or so, a quick tap just to kindly suggest we eventually get to a restroom. 

I think being in such tight quarters makes the feeling worse. You surely cannot describe a helicopter cabin as commodious.  I look down upon the same homeless guy on Sunset and La Brea. It's easy to spot him as he always has a shopping cart filled with various electronics in tow. On most sightings, I puzzle at how one loses their mind. Was he always this way or was there a breaking point? A point to which his mind gave up on him and went off on it's own journey, dragging his body along for the ride. I tell you, I believe that it can happen. Hell, it may be happening to me right now. Nothing is important at this moment, no thought makes me happy or dream desired. My life is in it's simplest form. I am becoming my naturalistic self. My inner workings are in overdrive. Maybe this is the moment I snap. I open my eyes and have no clue of my surroundings. I hold eight different conversations with seven different versions of myself. Some I keep to myself, some for the world to hear. People stare at me as I try to walk backwards, claiming it's a form of time travel. A loving couple breaks stride and cross to the opposite side the street as I attempt to swim on land. A fellow drifter turns their back on me as decide to count forever. I am in my own world and nothing can get me-

"You know you're flying off course, Kirkland," my copilot, Larry says.
I nod slowly in response.

It's the first thing he's ever said. I've flown with him for over a week now and not a word. To my surprise, he is capable of speech.

"Well," Larry says, "Think we should take her down now?”
I nod and say, "Yeah, I really gotta piss."

© 2012 R.W. Sigur

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Added on March 28, 2012
Last Updated on April 4, 2012
Tags: flight, helicopter, funny, hollywood, inner monologue, holding it in, string theory