The monster in the bathroom

The other night, I woke up about 2am, for no good reason. I knew if I just lay there quietly, I might fall back asleep, but then came that annoying impulse to use the bathroom. Oh come on. Really? I did that thing where you lay in bed and debate with yourself. How much pee can there really be? Maybe I can just ignore it? Maybe I can just stay in bed under the warm covers until morning?

But then the more you think about it, the more you have to go, until it’s just inevitable. You will be getting up. So there I was, padding to the bathroom in the dark, annoyed that I was about to enter a brightly lit bathroom, which would wake me up even more. I’m so dang light sensitive. Unless…..I just didn’t turn the light on. Yes! Great idea! A dangerous prospect for guys, sure, but for women, what could really go wrong? I can do this. My eyes are adjusted to the dark. I can make out the outlines of things. I’ll be fine. Why didn’t I ever try this before?

I stepped into the dark bathroom, and immediately remembered every moment in childhood when the idea of going into a bathroom in the dark ran against every fiber of my being. Riiiiight, this is why I’ve never done this before. Because monsters, and scary movies, and creatures who hang outside the window scratching to get in, and the angry demons who live in mirrors, and don’t forget the murderers with masks and giant knives who enjoy standing in bathtubs with the shower curtain 99% closed. This is why we have transparent plastic shower curtains.

I stood up straight and laughed at myself. This is FUNNY! Feeling wiggy about peeing in a dark bathroom when you’re 44 years old is so adorable! I smiled. I looked boldly into the dark mirror over the sink, and stared straight out the window into the dark. I peered around in the dark, labeling the outlines of things. It was just a bathroom. There’s the edge of the tub, there’s the shelf with the Nyquil and Tylenol, there’s the garbage can. This is so mundane. This is so boring. Nothing is weird here! Time to pee.

The second my butt hit the seat, I looked up, and in the corner of the room, out of the shower stall, LEAPS A GIANT BLACK THING DIRECTLY AT ME.

For a fraction of a second I have the thought:


I jumped – a feat I’m still not sure how I accomplished – and then fell back onto the toilet with a boom that echoed through the room and caused the monster to startle and leap into the air once again, at which point I realized my demonic bathroom presence was our 8 lb cat, Chloe.

Why she was hiding in the shower, I have no idea (I checked the next day, she wasn’t using it as a litter box). But I’m guessing she’ll never do it again, and I’m guessing that I’ll be peeing with the light on from now on.

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