The Pee Pee story
(how I overcame my fear of the dark)

(to listen click here)

     When i was a child i was deathly afraid of the dark.   We lived in a big three story duplex that was split down the middle, rather than side by side.  So each half of the house had a cellar, first floor and a second floor.  We also had a servants quarters that was a converted attic and had a family living up there too.   We had two toilets in our half of the house and when i had to go, then i had to either get up my nerve and go down in the cellar one.  Dark and creepy down there and very spooky.  No way Jose, you could not get me down there for anything alone.   The other toilet was on the second floor, up a very dark and narrow staircase.  No light at the top and no light to speak of on the landing below.  The front stairs to the upstairs toilet was just off the front entry and adjacent to the living room entry.   You can bet that when ever i had to urinate, i did a lot of hopping around with my legs crossed first rather than brave the darkness.   When even the, "pee pee dance" started to fail, i had to make a decision on which of the two demon dwelling potty locations would i be brave enough to visit. The spooky cellar with all it's dark corners or the demonic dark ascent to the second floor bathroom, up the creaking boogy-man summoning stair way.
    We had a cat named, "Menieu" that was born in my father's bread truck.  My dad worked for Nabisco delivering baked goods for a while.  Menieu was an old tom cat and my mom had a heck of a time house breaking him.   It took for ever to get the cat to let us know when he wanted to go out side and do his business.   Well, one day i was playing with my toys in the living room and i had to go pee.   I was afraid to go up the dark creepy stairs to the upstairs bathroom and even more afraid to go down in the cellar.  It never occurred to me to just go out side and pee in the hedges.  I was around 5 years old at the time.   With my bladder in an up-roar after doing the pee pee dance for 15 or 20 minutes, i just stepped behind the big stuffed chair in the living room and peed on the back of it.   I went back to my play and in a short while my mother came by and noticed the wet spot on the rug and the back of the chair.  She got angry as hell and grabbed poor Menieu by the scruff of the neck and rubbed his face in the fresh pee on the floor behind the chair, then tossed him out side.
    Hot dog!   I had it made now.   When ever i had to go pee, i could just pee behind the chair and the cat will get the blame.  No problemo....   Unless you count my cousin Nancy.   They were living with us at the time and so she was around often and one day she happen to come walking into the living room while i was doing my thing behind the chair.   She ran right in to my mom and started chirping like a little stool pigeon.   My mom, realizing that i had been the culprit all the while and letting the cat take the blame for me, decided to fit the punishment with the crime.  She grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, rubbed my face in the pee on the rug and tossed me out side on the front porch.  Nancy, my tormentor followed to tease and enjoy my discomfort.   I really became mortified when she told me that if you get pee on your face then your face will melt and fall off and you will look like a Geek in the carnival or worse.   I don't know how i survived that incident when i was sure i was going to die from a melted face. But you can be assured that i never pee'd behind the chair again, which put a big dent in my normal routine.  I would have to find an alternate solution or get used to peeing in my pants from fear on the way to the john.
     That is my pee-pee story, however my stories are not complete unless we have a happy ending.  Needless to say, i never again peed behind any furniture.  Faced with the possibility of sure death from getting your face rubbed in the offense i had to find a way to relieve myself without becoming petrified with fear of the dark.  You need to remember now that little J. P. was only 5 years old,  so the rationale was not all that sophisticated but the solution that i devised certainly worked.   I had to develop a plan that would allow me to travel to the bathroom unscathed by the demons hiding in the dark.  Because the cellar was really too spooky, I chose the upstairs bathroom as my regular destination and the next time i had to go up those darkened corridors i simply shut my eyes..  With my eyes closed, i could not tell if it was dark or light, so i just shut my eyes, and felt my way up the dark stairs to the bathroom, where i could put on a light.   Now everybody was happy.   Mom was happy that nobody was defiling her home, Menieu was happy he was not getting blamed for my dark deeds, I was happy because i had a really great tool against the darkness.   From that time on, i had a way to beat the dark.   I never figured out, or tried to, why the monsters seemed to disappear when i shut my eyes, but were all over the place when my eyes were open. It did not matter that much because it worked for me and that is all i cared about at the time.
I remember another incident from the days when the Dery's and the Papish's lived together. This was a mortifying experience when i had to wear Nancy's under pants.   I used to pee in my bed occasionally until i was 5 or so. I can remember the experiences clearly and the dreams that prompted the bed-wetting. I can remember dreaming that i really had to go bad and was desperately looking for a toilet. I would always find one eventually and then i would joyously relieve myself, both in my dream, and in my bed.   One night i wet my bed and my mom did not have any clean underwear for me to put on so she got a pair of Nancy's underpants.   I can remember how scratchy they felt.  I don't know what they were made from but it may as well have been burlap, as comfortable as they were.  I hated having to wear them and never ever told any body that i was wearing a girls underpants,what shame that would have brought among my peers.  That may have been the clincher that got me to stop wetting the bed, who knows? Uncle Joe soon bought a big house in a fancy neighborhood and he moved his family over to the new house.   They were strongly effected by the neighborhood and any time i visited them they found something i was doing that was objectionable to the neighborhood. My cousin Donny and i were sitting on the front porch steps one summer afternoon and aunt Irene came out and told me that "We don't sit on the steps in this neighborhood."  I haven't seen Donny in almost 40 years now, although Nancy and i get together on occasion, when they come to San Diego.   I will never forget that time when we all lived together though, those were good times and warm memories from the 1940's.


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