An Embarrassing Incident
Recently, an old friend reminded me of an embarrassing incident that happened to me in high school.
When I was a teenager, my friends and I rode around in the car listening to the radio until the sun glistened upon the mighty Mississippi river. The Mississippi river ran through our hometown, which was in keeping with its teenager’s strong undercurrents and muddy water attitudes. The river road crept along the rivers route, but since the river was obstructed by a levee, we had to drive on top of the levee's narrow road to view the water.
In those days when you drove on the top of the levee, you could see farms with pastures as we sped down the rivers long winding curves, then, if we were lucky, we saw splashes from the tiny fish in the river, or the occasional opportunistic bird.
My friends and I spent time on the ferry that crossed the river night and day. I used to stand on the front of the boat and pretend I was Barbra Streisand singing, On A Clear Day, imitating the character in the movie Funny Girl.
Before the days of videocassettes, CD players, etc, the car radio was the popular form of entertainment, with the exception of going to the movies. Therefore, in addition to the river road, we had other driving locations, one of which was the road that encircled the grounds in front of our State's Capital building.
We lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the State of Louisiana's capital city, therefore the State Capital building, or what we called the “Capital Area," is lined with state government offices. The building has twenty-six stories and the grounds are smothered in oak trees dripping with moss, blooming azalea bushes, and so thick with shrubbery you cannot see where you're going at night, it's pitch black in every direction.-Or it was at that time-
Anyway, on one of our State Capital ground nighttime drives, we were listening to my high school sweetheart's eight-track tapes. He was the kid (they have one in every crowd) with the luxuries in our group; you know the one with the car, etc...; and he took advantage of it by bossing the rest of us around who weren't in line to the throne. The king on his throne was also my boyfriend, with who, I laughed, sang, loved, and disagreed with constantly.
On this particular night we were arguing about a song he wouldn't let me hear on one of his eight tracks, when of course, I realized I had to find a bathroom. His eight-tracks were a big thing and listening to them was something I hated to interrupt, but I didn't think I could wait much longer, so I asked him to stop in front of the State Capital lawn. The State Capital grounds would afford me the privacy I needed, since I could hide under the safety of an Oak tree.
When I told my boyfriend and friends I simply had to use a bathroom, their response was;
"Ann, how are we going to find a bathroom downtown in the middle of the night?"
I answered, "I can go under the oak trees in the courtyard, no one will see me, and I’ll be right back." I was so aggravated about the tape that I didn't give much thought about the safest place to hide.
So I squat under the closest tree I could find by the car, and began to pee, then I heard birds chirping in the tree, and thought, what kind of bird chirps at night? Then the chirping sounded louder as if it were getting closer and I thought these birds sure are friendly.