Thursday, April 12, 2007

Breaking the Seal

How do you help an insomniac fall asleep? Take one Princesse Ecossaise, her imagination and her motor mouth and allow her to work her magic.

Last night was hot and balmy; the sheets clung tightly to our bodies, the silence of the night was overbearing and the bed had turned lumpy and uncomfortable. Neither FP nor I could manage to fall asleep. Of course our friend upstairs interrupted the dark silence several times with his trademark long pee followed by a gurgling flush; (a traditional French flush. Not any old toilet flush; a distinctively French flush from a distinctively French toilet, where all the water is sucked out the bowl harshly like someone sucking on a straw when there is no juice left at the bottom of the glass. Not at all like a civilised British flush.)

After tossing and turning for the best part of a second excruciating hour, I was just about to drop off into blissful unconsciousness when the footsteps above were once again heard, along with the running of a bath…no, sorry, the act of urination.

This causes FP to jerk upright shouting “arrete de pisser, con!” waking me up even further.

“That stupid fat man, I hate him,” I said, really meaning it, feeling the venom within me sprout from exhaustion and frustration.

Five minutes later, I’m feeling wide awake. My mind is buzzing at 100 miles per hour and I’m thinking about the annoying man above us who has such an impact on our lives, yet we have never met him; only heard him passing water.

“His name is Frederic and he drinks ten litres a day.” I decide. “He has a big curly moustache and when he laughs his big belly jiggles.” FP lets out a snort of amusement.

I continue, “he wears brown trousers, a white shirt and braces and he smells of sweat. He has a wife but they only make love once a year and they never kiss because his moustache tickles her nose.”

I think some more, before saying, “her name is Brigitte. She wears flowery dresses and is plump. She prefers her cat to her husband.”

“…and Frederic has a mouth who smells of smoke,” FP adds in his sleepy English.

“Yeah, and he smokes a pipe, all day long. He annoys Brigitte because he drinks so much red wine and he stays up all night drinking and peeing and smoking his pipe, drinking, peeing, smoking. And eating a lot. And you know what? It’s because he breaks the seal too soon. Don’t you think? When you drink alcohol and you first go to the toilet you break the seal. That first time you can hold it in for so long, but as soon as you break that seal you have to go pee after every glass. That’s what’s wrong with Frederic. He breaks the seal too soon. Don’t you think, cheri? Babe?”

I listen carefully in the darkness of the room. FP is asleep.

I kick him, annoyed that he has not listened to my intellectual musings. I’m left alone and awake in this uncomfortable, silent, darkness.

For good measure*, I steal all the covers from my boyfriend.

* Bad move. It was hot. I was hot. Spent the rest of the night under two layers of duvet, stubborn and sweating.


Sebastien said...

You are funny! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Loved the toilet description, I never could quite put my finger on it, but that is the exact perfect description of how toilets work in France!

I miss France... most of my family lives there, but I've been too sick to travel and visit for a while now. Anyhow, I'll be checking back :)

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Ahhh no problem, your blog is well written!

Aha, you see I knew you had to have French connections, what with your name being Sebastien. Je suis trop forte moi!

I'm sorry you've been sick lately, I send my best wishes.

T.D. Newton said...

Wow, that is funny stuff. I've never really speculated much about my neighbors before. The people that share a duplex with us are mormons, according to our landlords, and they have never so much as said hello to me. Reminds me of life in Utah.