Here I go again. I have other stories to finish, but this one’s been rolling around my empty head!
Monday 2nd March.
It had been one of the worst days in David’s 30 year old life. As bad as all the other worst days, he thought miserably as he waited for his wife to pick him up outside the packing company where he had been, well, a packer. Packer number 1484, in fact.
It was a simple sort of job. Not that David was a simple guy. It was just that he had trouble coping with things. With everything. The world was such a demanding place, and everything was expected so quickly. Packing was no exception. What went in today’s boxes was different from what went in yesterday’s boxes, and the day before’s. It was so hard to keep up, to do everything the way they wanted. There wasn’t even time to think about things. Like the day that everything that was to go into some box was blue except one thing, or when the things were all round, or whatever. Didn’t anyone else want to think about that sort of stuff as they worked?
What did they all think, thought David. When he had been told to finish up, it wasn’t as though he didn’t expect it. It always happened. This time was worse because Jen’s mother, his mother in law, had got him the job.
No one had said anything to him when the supervisor told him.
She hadn’t even said anything herself, except, ‘I think it’s time to go, David.’
He had taken her letter and left. Now he stood outside the building in the light rain, waiting for Jen. Outside yet again. He thought of the his workmates, all inside. He was always outside whatever it was, looking in and wondering how all the happy people in there could stay there so easily, while he was always on the way out.
Jen’s car came around the corner. David shut his eyes. How did other guys do it? David even felt outside his marriage. Jen had found him, and brought him inside for a while, but then his old demons, or imps or whatever they were, returned. As if it weren’t bad enough being short, and baby faced. And hopeless at everything, even keeping Jen happy.
Jen was an interesting woman, everyone said so. A women who made interesting choices. David supposed that he was one of her interesting choices. She certainly knew more about the world than David seemed to. His own decisions, even the carefully worked out ones, were often so bad that Jen just laughed and told him they were doing whatever it was some other way.
Like sex. For David, sex was very strange territory. He was never sure what he was meant to do, and when he did do it, he usually screwed it up. He’d fumble around while Jen seemed so relaxed and happy. David would either ejaculate suddenly and unexpectedly, on Jen’s tummy or even in his pants. On the rare occasions he got as far as penetration, he slid out or kept going until Jen said, you’re not inside me, silly.
Maybe that’s what he was, silly. Retarded, even. Once, he thought he was having a super long orgasm. He wasn’t, he was wetting all over Jen, the bed and himself. Jen was so cross she reminded him of his horrible aunt to whom he was farmed out for a year while his parents were away. He was six, and his cousins were three, but David had such trouble at school that his aunt kept him at home with the twins. She simply added him to her brood as a triplet.
Then a miracle had happened. David had found a way of dealing with his aunt’s temper and, magically, fitting in for the first time in his life. He often thought about that time, although the memories had got fairly warn with use, and it now just seemed a period of hazy happiness.
David found that the girls accepted him completely. After all, he wasn’t much bigger than they were, and he wet his bed and his pants sometimes, made a mess when he was eating and enjoyed the same games and cartoons as they did. Consequently, the twins treated him as one of them, and so did his aunt. David found that in going along with them, he was actually happy for the first time he could remember.
After the golden period with his horrible aunt and her warm and friendly daughters, his parents were shocked to find that his behaviour, had changed dramatically. David’s responses and language, even his movements, not to mention his toileting skills, had changed so much that he was put into intensive therapy for two years to undo the ‘damage’ that being treated like a toddler had done him. David had tried to tell his therapist how much he missed his life at his aunt’s, but the therapist would have none of it. Every time he mentioned it, she would make life hard for him. He remembered sitting in dark room and being given electric shocks when he was shown pictures of toddlers playing.
It was electro therapy. Now, at 30, David still thought with longing of his days at his aunt’s house, even if he was no longer sure exactly what was good about them. The crude aversion therapy had mixed up his memories of what had happened so long ago. He knew that he didn’t mind when Jen ordered him around. He actually liked it, but he wasn’t sure why. He still wet himself occasionally, and even that gave him a strange kind of pleasure.
So here he was, hopeless at life, but with abiding, if hazy, memory of a time and place when he wasn’t hopeless, when his peers respected him and when they enjoyed his company. He was aware of the need to find the key to the door to that place. He had no idea such a key it might be, or where the door was. The rain continued, more heavily now, as Jen’s car slowed and pulled up next to David. He was watching the rain run like quicksilver over the road, separate rivulets of water joining forces and finding the way to the kerb. David watched in fascination as rivulets flowed over his shoes and onto the road. He didn’t realise he was peeing. It sometimes happened when he was thinking about the key and the door.
Jen took her husband’s accidents as just another thing to be organised and dealt with. She managed a team of nurses in a hospital, and she knew most of the details of David’s past. She would have preferred finding out before she had married him, but it didn’t really make much difference. He had issues, just like most of her patients, and her staff, for that matter. Better a little stress incontinence than alcoholism or violence, she thought.
‘David, your pants,’ she said in greeting.
David stopped thinking about the rainwater, and realised that he had wet himself. He looked down at his soaked crotch and began to cry. Jen had seen the behaviour before. She simply helped him into the car and sat him on folded towel.
‘Big boys don’t wet their pants, do they David?’ she asked him.
It was as close as she could get to scolding him on a day when he had lost yet another job.
David shook his head and stared out the window, silent for the rest of the short trip home. It was always like this when he had an accident. He felt divided. He thought of the water again. Part of him felt he was heading in the right direction by wetting himself, but how could that be? Another part of him,the part so carefully constructed by his childhood therapist and others though his life, told him that wetting himself was wrong and that he had to overcome it.
But how could he overcome what he couldn’t control? He was even aware of it happening most of the time. Certainly not at night.
The trouble was, his accidents were never isolated. If he had one, another one or more usually followed.
He hadn’t wet at all for ages. He remembered how embarrassing it was for him to hear Jen telling both her mother and his mother that he seemed to have grown out of the problem, and how proud she was of him. That afternoon, at his mother-in-law’s house, he had soiled himself. The imps at work again. Or was it revenge, or his subconscious acting out?
With no real friends except Jen, there was no-one with whom David could even discuss the matter. Talking to Jen about it was like talking to his mum, or a schoolteacher. She would listen, nod, then tell him what she was going to do about it. That wasn’t the among the questions he wanted to ask, the principal ones of which were, ‘Why am I different?’ Followed by ‘How can I be happy?’
This particular worst day was about to become even more dramatic. David followed up his daytime wetting by soaking the bed. The next morning after finishing breakfast, David soiled himself as he stood up from the table. He had one idea it was about to happen, nor could he control the tears that came after.
His performance earned him a trip to a new therapist, a very serious lady much older that David and Jen. She talked to David for an hour, then talked privately to Jen. Jen then took David to another clinic. She wouldn’t talk about it as they drove between the clinics, except to say that what was happening was for David’s ‘long term benefit’.
‘What was?’ asked David.
Here he was, on the outside again. Everyone else seemed to know what was happening but him. Feelings of confusion overwhelmed him as he followed Jen into another medical suite. Everyone seemed to be expecting him. Then he felt it happening again. He thought he was wetting, but it was worse than that. He wet a little, but mostly he soiled himself again. He even crouched a little, in the middle of the reception area of this place, and grunted as he did his business. In a flash of realisation, he knew that it was not a good thing to have happened. But he couldn’t help it. Then he cried again.
He remembered another older woman coming out of a side office, then a nurse appearing. She led him away and soon he was under a shower. When he got out, the nurse was still there. She asked him to lie on a couch, and she gave him something to drink. Whatever it was, after a few minutes it took David’s mind off the current situation. He could feel it happening.
He seemed to be watching what was going on as if he were someone else. The nurse asked him to lie down, which he did. She then produced a large diaper. It seemed so matter of fact. Jen had occasionally suggested that he wear something at night when he had wet a couple of nights in a row, but David had felt so scared of being diapered that he had refused point blank. When Jen had said one more wetting and he would have no choice, he had had so little to drink all the next day that he could hardly sleep because his throat was so dry. But he had avoided being diapered. Now, it seemed like the normal thing to do. He was given some loose pyjama like clothing, and was told to rest for awhile.
When he woke, he had a long talk with the older lady. Then Jen arrived. David had no idea how long she had been away, or how long he had been asleep, but he was glad to see her. He was also dry, and hoped that meant the end of this visit to the doctor. But it didn’t. David went back to the room for a while, and then the nurse and Jen came in.
The nurse went with him and Jen for a longish drive into the country. David thought it might be a surprise holiday, and wondered why the nurse was there. They arrived at a sort of hotel, and Jen explained that he would be staying there for a while.
‘How long?’ asked David.
‘Just until, well, until we get things a bit sorted out,’ said Jen.
‘Until you’re feeling better,’ said the nurse. ‘It won’t be too long.’
Jen said she had to go, and gave David a long hug. David thought she was crying.
Jen left quickly, and David followed the nurse down a long, strange-smelling corridor.
He suddenly thought of clothing. He was still in the bluish pyjama clothes he had been given at the clinic.
‘Won’t I need clothes?’ he asked the nurse as he followed her brisk footsteps.
‘Oh, no honey, everything you need is here,’ she said, and swung into a brightly lit room off the corridor.
‘David Moore,’ she said to the girl at a desk there. ‘Dr Linley’s placement.’
The girl typed into her computer, and stared at the screen for a minute.
‘Ah,’ she said. ‘Here we are. David,’ she added, looking steadily at David, then smiling.
‘You’re in Brice. I thought so.’
David had no idea what that meant, but it rhymed with nice, he thought. He smiled back at the girl, then was suddenly self-conscious about the diaper under his thin cotton pants. He instinctively put his hands to his crotch.
‘Are you ok, David?’ asked the nurse, seeing his sudden movement.
Gently, she moved on of David’s hands away and pressed lightly on the dry diaper.
‘He’s ok,’ said the nurse, and the girl smiled again.
‘Come on, David,’ said the nurse.