I like to drink as much water as I can here on the ‘station’. (It’s not really a station, were not in the outback and we don’t have black fleshy Angus dotting the fields stretching thousands of square kilometers in area) and every time before I go to bed I make sure I empty my bladder. You better make sure you do since the nearest toilet is 50 meters away. I lied, the nearest toilet is 25 meters away but that’s the outside shitter and unless you want to get bitten by god knows what you don’t go there at night time. Sammy did it once. She was sitting on the outside toilet when all of a sudden a black snake decided to wring herself in between her feet to come say hi. They’re drama seekers.
So every time before I go to bed I make sure I go. But every night between 2 and 3 I wake up desperately needing to pee. At first I just lie there for five minutes trying to decide if I could hold it in. In my brain it’s like my mind and bladder are flipping coins. If the mind wins, I stay in bed until the clicking sound of this not further specified little insect that’s eating the carpet cradles me back to sleep. If the bladder wins, I collect all my courage and my flash light to face the night. A good 14 nights have I spent here and only one time has the mind won. So practically every bloody time I have to collect all my courage to get up at night and empty my bladder. Tonight was another night like this. I had woken up between two and three and heard the carpet eater was at it again. Feasting on the rug with his tiny but microscopically enlarged undoubtedly grose grinder mouth with like a million little teeth. Only milliseconds later to discover I had to pee really bad. At first I sighed. Then I knocked over every bloody thing on my night stand because I was searching for the light switch with my big flat uncoordinated hand. Once I had found it, I switched it on and immediately scared away because of the light hitting the corrugated wall, projecting insecty shadows on it that were mostly just part of my imagination.
… Ahm no… They’re not. There are two cockroaches sitting right there. *SPRAY!*
I grab my flash light, wiggle my foot in some thongs while wearing socks, give the surrounding area an inspection and then open the door that leads to the common room. I’m always more at ease when Trina, Jessie’s dog, is lying at my doorstep. But tonight she must have been sleeping in Jessie’s room. I walk towards the outside door, lighting up the floor to see where I’m going, take a deep breath and open the door. I must emphasize this is an every night routine. Before I leave the common room I make sure I use my flash light to glide over the ground and surrounding landscapes first before putting one foot out there. The coast seems clear. I walk my way down the path that leads to Sammy and Nick’s house. I try not to walk on the grass, since you never know what’s hiding in there and ready to jump at you. I’m hugging shadows at this point. My flash light is this small pocket version that doesn’t light up very much. It’s more something to reassure me on my way down there because otherwise I would be as blind as a mole. What I fear most on my way to the toilet is the brown snake. From what I remember from the wildlife park they are fast, aggressive and fatal. And Noah had it happen to him already that he encountered one right on this path during a nightly visit to the toilet. Apparently it was still a baby one so it got scared and rushed off into the grass. But this was 2 years ago so it’s probably a pretty mature snake by now. Not that they get like colossal or anything. They probably end up getting not longer than 6 foot. And they’re quite slender as well. You can easily mistake them for a long twig or hose lying around. Until it jumps on you and latches onto you with its fangs. Apparently a (superficial) graze of one fang is enough to inject a lethal dose of poison into you. A lady had it happened to her, this was in the news recently: she was sitting outside when a brownie came up to her to bite her in the ankle. She didn’t really feel it (she must have had really thick ankles) But she started to feel rather iffy after she had felt ‘something’ sting her foot. When she went to the doctor’s they were looking for a prominent vampire bite mark but they didn’t find any on her so she couldn’t have possibly been bitten by a brown snake. They thought… They sent her back home (!) stating she had just suffered a little heart problem, NOT giving her the antivenom. A couple of hours later the venom had spread through her body, leaving her hands and face all black. The venom messes with your lymph nodes.
She survived but she won’t return to her usual self for years to come. These thoughts flash through my head whenever my precious body parts leave the shed to go to the bathroom. I had reached the backdoor and quickly went inside. Thank god, we survived the first round; half way there. I lift the seat to make sure there aren’t redbacks hiding underneath before I plant my white bikini bottom defined bum on there to do my thing. I pull my pants up, wash my hands, look in the mirror (note to self: never look in the mirror, every night you look the same with your face all red from a) the hoodie that is strapped too tight around your head and b) for getting sunburn on top of sunburn.) I grab my flash light, navigate myself to the outside door, take a deep breath, open it and step outside. I haven’t had set one foot outside or I am startled by this hissing sound. At first I just want to pretend I didn’t hear it but it’s too present to ignore. Fuck, this must be the matured brown snake. I must have woken it up!! Noah said it has been hiding out in the compost hoop and brown snakes get very territorial. I must have been trespassing on his turf! Stirring him up! I seek for a moving hose or twig with my ever so small flash light, desperately needing some reference point on where this snake is since the hissing is becoming more apparent and close by. I shine irregularly when all of a sudden I see these big piercing eyes gazing at me. AAH! …. I jump up one meter. Cheshire! That bloody cat from Jessie’s was just sitting there, not hissing, but having a laugh at me the entire time. She jumps away in the darkness, blissfully unaware of what death lurks in there. God damnit. I quickly tip toe back to the common room, sticking to the path, and get in as quickly as possible. My heart pounding like crazy. Already now my heart is racing, I can’t believe how I would ever keep calm after suffering a poisonous snake bite. Since an elevated heart rate spreads the poison faster through your blood. Making you die even quicker. Mother Nature is brutal Down Under.
I run in my room and quickly jump on the bed, wrapping myself in my safe covers -well right after checking no other animal got in there with me- to switch off the light and cover my eyes with my hands. My heart rate slows down. The clicking sound of the carpet eater cradles me to sleep. I feel myself slip away into a soft buttery sleep when I hear a thunder roll in my stomach, echoing in the room. Sammy’s pumpkin risotto apparently didn’t fill me up like it should have and suddenly I start craving one of the cookies in the big white box on top of the kitchen cabinet in the common room. Sigh. Same routine again. Ruining night stand, switching on light, wiggling toes in thongs and inspecting surroundings with my flash light. 2 minutes, one cookie and a glass of milk later I’m back rolled up in my bed cover. Feeling courageous and content. All my needs fulfilled. All… (yawn!)…my needs… fulfilled… .
(I wrote this last night between 2.30 and 4 am)