Friday, August 25, 2006

Sans Cable

My housemate, Pearl, and I have been living in Waltham for 14 days now. We are both eagerly anticipating our incipient graduate-level coursework at our respective institutions, and to pass the time we read, eat, chat, sleep, listen to the radio, and watch antiquated National Geographic videos. But we have no cable television.

Every night, at 7:30pm [+/- 10 minutes], the ice cream man drives down our street playing a worse-than-midi quality version of "The Entertainer" and at first we would exchange wry glances over our library books. Then we began to exchange stony deadpan stares. And then we were sure we were losing our minds.

Two nights ago, while reading an issue of Cosmopolitan during that most difficult stretch of TV-less time-- 11am-11pm, I asked Pearl "If one were a paraplegic with no friends, how would one get on the toilet?"
Who needs reality television when reality without television can be so surreal? And with that I rolled off the couch.
One shouldn't underestimate the density of one's own functionless legs. I felt like a mermaid whose lower half was a dead Weddell seal. The friction of denim against carpet made the going slow and my elbows red, but I pressed on.

Once in the cramped bathroom I realized that upper arm strength was going to play a large role in my success in mounting the toilet by conventional means.
After a few hardly-valiant attempts, I realized that I wasn't strong enough to mount the toilet with conventional results. I was also unable to shut the door. Everyone would see me urinate like some kind of skateboard or cookie sheet or some other 2-dimensional thing that isn't meant to urinate. But then I remembered that I was a paraplegic with no friends. I wouldn't be in this situation if I had any, so I let the feeling of isolation bolster my spirit and sense of adventure.

And, much like the Weddell seal might have, I mounted the toilet in a thoroughly unconventional way.

Pearl, who was cheering me on from the bathtub, expressed concern that if I were truly urinating, my stream would escape the confines of the toilet. I began to counter with the concepts of gravity and self-control, but it was then that we heard "The Entertainer" and decided that tonight we should meet the ice cream man.


jenovus said...


Spiffae said...

I think that living with you would probably be the most exhaustingly entertaining thing in the world. Props to Pearl.

Mackenzie said...

there you go again with your paraplegic fetish. lena, no one will ever carry you in a backpack...or put animal limbs in place of your human ones. it's time to face the truth.

Lena Webb said...


MertMengelmier said...

I think Pearl is made up.