Denial: You are just working yourself into a panic, it’s just the distant cry of maybe-pee. You haven’t been staying hydrated anyway. The water here has more iron in it than Tony Stark’s ejaculate. It’s just the water of Lake Champlain put through a pasta strainer. That wasn’t a fart. Adjust, cross your legs. You’ll go in the morning.
Anger: You should not have eaten at the Grundle tonight. It’s truly alarming how quickly it moves through you. Should not have had five cups of coffee, a laxative, and a diuretic, either. It’s so damn cold in the outside-the-covers world, too. Cold and scary and bright. Lord, it smells like a Best Buy filled with black beans in here. If you lit a match, the explosion would start World War III. You have to go or you’ll ruin your sheets by morning.
Bargaining: Is it gross to need to poop and still only pee? For the sake of time, pooping seems excessive. And if you were to poop you’d need to bring your phone because what is pooping if you aren’t mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Also, is it gross to go and not wash your hands? It is a pandemic, but if you’re only touching your own junk—if your junk has COVID, there’s a pretty good chance you have it, too. Alright, just a four-finger, two-second water rinse. Sing “Happy Birthday” up to the “irth”.
Depression: Your bed is lofted way too high, you are going to hit your head on the ceiling as you try to ungracefully slither out from the covers. After escaping your coffin, you must descend the end rails. As the metal structure creaks madly and its hinges seem destine to give out, the choice will be: one-at-a-time wrapping your toes around the cold rungs like a clumsy sloth, or a courageous leap, hoping the floor comes before your foot has the chance to move out from under your leg about your ankle. Then, you’ll put a mask on that smells like the day. Fumbling through the dark, you think about the hit your confidence has taken knowing the smells you are capable of producing. During your waking hours, you put on a convincing show, a facade of confidence and cool. But in this moment, you are an animal, controlled principally by bodily function. You think of the alarm you set on your phone and the time you thought you were giving yourself to sleep. You’ll be a zombie in the morning.
Acceptance: This is the smart thing to do. Imagine the look on your roommate’s face in response to your infantile mistake. Your sheets and your English notebook on the desk below, soaked in yellow. This is a better fate. The hallway lights are harsh and blinding. Your barefoot makes contact with someone else’s pee. But the release comes with relief and you can finally sleep easy.