When I was in college, Erica Lynn was one of my best girlfriends. Erica Lynn was a fun girl and we often went bar hopping together. Sometimes, when she got sloppy drunk, she’d lose control of her bladder and pee her pants. Because she was so hilarious and outgoing, everyone ignored this little aspect of her personality. My friends and I figured if she kept it up after we graduated, we’d have an intervention or something. But as for right now, we were in college. When else are you supposed to get sloppy drunk to the point where you pee your pants?
Shortly before we began our third year, Erica Lynn and I decided to take our friendship to a new level. We decided to become roommates.
Before this, Erica Lynn had lived with her parents, so I really had no way of knowing how neat she’d keep our apartment. I’m not exactly a neat freakmyself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dirty. I’m cluttered. I happen to think there is a difference.
For example, my jacket is currently draped over my kitchen chair. There are various papers stacked on my desk. In my bedroom, my pants are on the floor. But, I don’t have anything disgusting lying around. No plates of old food hiding under my bed, no used tissues in my bathroom sink, no animal puke dried and crusted on my carpet. No filth at all whatsoever. Just clutter.
So, if Erica Lynn was equally cluttered, I wouldn’t have a problem with her. If Erica Lynn was a neat freak, I figured I’d just make an extra effort to pick up after myself.
What I didn’t expect was that Erica Lynn would be a pig.
This fun girl was also one of the laziest girls I have ever met in my life. We kept our trash bin under the kitchen sink. Erica Lynn would stack all of her garbage on the kitchen table because she didn’t feel like opening the cabinet door and accessing the bin. Erica Lynn would blow her nose into her hand while showering and wipe the globs on snot on the wall. If Erica Lynn spilled some food or drink on the floor, she’d leave it there like nothing had happened. And I’m not talking about a drop of milk or some crumbs, people! If she dropped an entire hot dog, she’d just leave it lying there. She was that bad.
Even worse, at this time I had also gotten a dog. So while I was dealing with Erica Lynn and her innate filthiness, I was also trying to housebreak a puppy. My dog was very smart and I had trained him to sit, lie down, shake, stay, and roll over. But peeing outside was a challenge. My biggest problem was catching him in the act. If I was in the room and he had to go, he’d go sit by the door and whine. Then, I’d take him out and he’d pee. However, if I wasn’t watching, I strongly suspected that he’d just pee around the house. How else could I explain the fact that our house always smelled faintly of urine?
After a few months of this, I admitted defeat. I gave up trying to potty train him and gave him to a police officer who specialized in training police dogs. Like I said before, my dog was incredibly smart and the officer was convinced that he could train him and give him a good home. Even so, I was heartbroken. I loved that I dog and I felt that I failed him.
After the apartment was officially dog-free, I had it professionally cleaned and I had the carpets treated. For the first time since we moved in, the house smelled wonderful.
About a week later, it reeked of urine again. I couldn’t understand it. The dog was gone. I asked a friend about this and he told me that sometimes the urine gets in the floor boards under the carpet. He told me to kiss my security deposit goodbye. When I told Erica Lynn about this, she was surprisingly amicable. I apologized to her and assured her that I would personally return her half of the security deposit if we lost it, but she insisted that it was no problem.
I thought: Erica Lynn might be a filthy slob, but she sure is a nice person.
One night, Erica Lynn came home from work late. I was sitting on my bed writing a paper on my laptop. Erica Lynn sat down at the end of my bed and we chatted for a few minutes. Then, very abruptly, she ended our chat and bolted into her room to go to sleep.
I shrugged my shoulders, closed my laptop, and snuggled down into my own bed. My feet immediately came in contact with moisture. Confused, I pulled back my blankets. There, at the end of my bed in the exact place where Erica Lynn had been sitting just moments ago was a big wet spot of fresh urine.
Erica Lynn had peed in my bed.
Have you ever watched one of those movies where they explain a mystery to you by showing you previous incidents in a series of short flashes? Well, my mind did something like that. I saw my dog sitting obediently by the door waiting to go outside and pee. I saw Erica Lynn at the bar, sloppy drunk, wearing urine soaked pants. I saw myself sniffing my couch because it suddenly smelled like urine. I saw my dog lying at my feet because he knew he wasn’t allowed on the couch. I saw myself paying to professionally clean my house. I saw myself standing in my living room a week later and exclaiming, ‘How the Hell does it smell like urine in here again?’
To say that I was livid was an understatement. It was very late and I was tired, but instead of sleeping, I was furiously scrubbing my mattress. I thought about knocking on Erica Lynn’s door and confronting her, but I know my temper. If I didn’t wait to confront her until after I had calmed down, it is likely that the situation would have escalated to blows.
The next morning, Erica Lynn had left for class before I woke up. I dialed the number of a mutual friend, explained the situation and asked her advice.
“Oh V,” she said, “I bet she has a medical problem. She probably can’t help it!”
“I thought of that,” I answered, “But if that’s the case, why isn’t she wearing some depends or something?”
“Maybe she’s embarrassed.”
“I get that,” I assured her, “I really get that. But, she peed in my bed. If she would have just got up, apologized to me and told me that she had a medical problem and she would help me clean up, I would have been cool with that. But she didn’t! She just peed and acted like nothing had happened! Also, she knew I was giving away my dog because I thought he wasn’t housetrained. She knew that there was nothing wrong with my dog and it was her all along. She knew it and she still let me give my dog away!”
My friend clicked her tongue sympathetically and said, “Who knows, V? People do some pretty fucked up things when they’re ashamed or embarrassed.”
Well, Ok. Yeah. I get that.
I decided to put off confronting Erica Lynn until I had figured out a more tactful way to go about it. But as fate would have it, Erica Lynn called me that very afternoon from school. She thought she had forgotten her notebook at home and she wanted me to go up in her room and look for it. I obliged.
I had never been in Erica Lynn’s room, but what I saw that afternoon horrified me to the point where I almost dropped the phone. Erica Lynn had a pile of used menstrual pads stacked precariously in the corner. Not in a trash can, mind you, but on the floor. She had various bags of half eaten fast food scattered everywhere, each with a complimentary cloud of gnats hovering above them. I spied her notebook on her bed, but I was afraid to touch it because her sheets looked…..crunchy. And the smell! Oh Good God, the smell!
“Erica Lynn,” I whispered into the phone, “You have to move out.”
“What?” she grunted in response.
“You have to move out.” I struggled to make sense to her even as I stared in disgust, “Within the month. You’ve got to move back in with your parents or something. I don’t know. But you’ve got to be gone within the month.”
You can imagine the ensuing fight. But by the end of the week, Erica Lynn had moved out and had taken most of her filth with her. Once again, I had the house professionally cleaned and I ended up getting my security deposit back after all.
My friendship with Erica Lynn permanently ended because I was unable to handle her pig-like tendencies with grace or tact. I find this only marginally regrettable.
After all, Erica Lynn was a fun girl. But you know what they say happens when you lay down with pigs…
…They wet your fucking bed.