When I pulled up to my rental cottage in northern Maine this past weekend, I let out out a sigh of relief. Ten hours in the car with a distressed Labradoodle, two wrong turns, and a long, steep decent via gravel road had been worth it.
I had booked the cottage nearly nine months earlier, anticipating my summer residency, a week-long retreat required as part of my Humane Education Masters degree program. (YES, it’s a THING.)
I knew after nine-hour days of singing Kumbaya and braiding my cohorts’ armpit hair, this New Jersey native and closet introvert was going to need some alone time.
I arrived at my little rustic gem with a view and, per the check-in instructions, headed straight for what I thought was the front door. “Doors will be unlocked,” the instructions read. “The key will be inside in an obvious location. Should you need a spare, it will be under the back doormat.”
I jiggled the handle. The deadbolt, apparently, was working overtime.
I jumped from foot to foot, having had to pee for what felt like 127 hours.
I walked around the side of the cottage and saw another door. “Ah, of course,” I said to myself. “This must be it.” I turned the handle and once again – door locks working the night shift.
My bladder screamed as I tried both doors again. I checked and rechecked under both doormats. Uncle Jesse, my dog, bounced around me as if to say, “Is it time to go back to Jersey yet?”
I groaned loudly and walked back to my car to retrieve the check-in instructions. I called all four numbers listed on the paper and not a single person answered. My bathroom situation went from a slightly unpleasant Kevin Costner film to Waterworld.
I looked around surreptitiously. People were sitting on the porch at the house to the left, but they were almost entirely shrouded by trees. The house at the top of the hill had a partially obstructed view of
Fort Knox my cottage, but, maybe no one was home?
There was no time left to wonder. I grabbed a battered box of tissues from my car and tiptoed to the side of the cottage. With one more wary glance up the hill, I said, “F*ck it,” and, well.
The relief was as sublime as the view. I was a woman on a mission now. After wrestling with several ancient windows held secure by what I think were pine tree shivs, I managed to pry one open.
I climbed inside, unlocked both doors, and started unloading my overstuffed car when I saw a man walking down the gravel driveway. He looked like a cross between a young(ish) Jeff Bridges and a basket handwoven by fruitarians.
I gave a shy hello, crusted in sweat, shame and ten hours of car funk, assuming he was headed towards the small staircase that led to the coastline.
As he neared, it started to feel increasingly awkward. Maybe he was one of the numbers I’d just called? I took a few steps forward and held out my hand.
“Hi…. I’m Jules. …I’m renting the cottage for the week…?”
“I just happened to notice you pull up,” he said. “I live in the black and tan house
that’s shaped like a teepee built in 1971 by a blind nudist colony.” He pointed up the hill, his long brown locks swaying in the breeze.
“Oh, yeah, so,” I stammered. Holy hell. He saw…everything. “I couldn’t find the key and no one answered the emergency number, so, I
peed my brains out on the lawn and climbed in through the window…”
“I think I know where the key is,” he said without missing a beat. He headed towards the porch and knelt down by a crack in the wooden staircase. “The owner was just here two days ago.” He handed me a small silver key. “Want to give this a try?”
“Wow,” I said sarcastically. “I feel really secure now.”
He laughed and waited for me to try the key, making small talk about my dog and having once lived in New Jersey. Rattled, I tried to shake him off, and he soon headed down the stairs towards the water, as if that had been his plan all along.
25 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe I’m Telling You This.”
Hahaha. Who hasn’t peed in places like lawns by cottages in Maine?
Jeff Bridges sounds not at all like a murderer. I hope you’re home safe now and not blogging from your death post/cottage. 😉
Thanks, Sandy!! Has Jeff Bridges ever played a murderer? I should Google it so I know what to look out for…
If Jeff Bridges HAD observed your potty break, at least he could have been neighborly and brought a roll of TP.
Have a fabulous, rejuvenating week, Jules.
I think if I had told him I needed “TP” he would have handed me “The Pinecones.”
Alone in a remote Maine cottage with a friendly neighbor who looks like youngish Jeff Bridges and knows where your key is – this sounds like a set up for either a romantic comedy or a horror movie.
Wouldn’t it make for a great tagline for a romantic comedy? “She was just a girl who liked to pee in the woods. He was just a guy who liked to watch.”
Peeing on the side of a cottage is the gateway to dropping deuces on the side of a cottage. I should know.
And I may or may not have just been drunk and not locked out.
Coincidentally, about 30 minutes ago, one of my classmates told me that in D.C. if you’re caught peeing on the side of a building, you can get registered as a sex offender. So I’m pretty sure #2 would get you deported.
Well, I’d there’s ever a good place to pee your brains out on the lawn, that would be it. What a view!!
Gah! I meant IF not I’d. (I blame my phone…and the gin)
I bet Jeff Bridges, Jr. knows how to make gin out of dandelions. And possibly pee.
He was in cahoots with the owner. He saw you pull up, and he immediately dialed the owner, and he reported everything you were doing and they were having a laugh at your expense. (oh, yeah, she’s definitely doing the pee-pee dance…oh, wait…what this new development) After, the owner told him to walk down and give you a break – show you where the key was hidden.
This was a really funny story, especially because it happened to me last summer!
You can only get cited for urinating in public if the public see you urinate.
Judge – 30 days in the can he says without a trace of irony in his voice. The law can be many things – Irony is not one of them.
Your cell mate – What are you in for?
You – Peeing in public.
Cell mate – Guard !!!
Oh hell, it’s Maine. They only got flush toilets there last year.
Very late comment here. Where were you staying? And you never told me the full story of your adventure last year at Little Long Pond.