Toilet Trauma : My Earliest Childhood Memory

23 May

‘Did not need this,’ I sighed to myself. ‘Really did not need this.’ My likely-soon-to-prove-fatal torment was accompanied temporarily by a soundtrack, one that brings me out in a cold sweat and the kind of rash that has people around debating the potential need for quarantine, each and every time I hear it, right up to the present day. And you’d be surprised just how often that mocking sound worms its way into my life, even now. Even now….. in my 30s. The taunting repetitive mechanical wheezing audio accompaniment to what I was sure were to be my final moments as a living human was coming from Thomas. Well, I called him Thomas, we were mates; but to those not on familiar terms, he was Mr. Tank Engine. I once heard The Fat Controller call him Tom. Thomas just muttered, ‘Don’t call me Tom, you fat controller.’ ‘What was that?’ ‘Oh nothing, I was just saying ‘choo choo!’’ And then he slid off along the tracks. But that had been then, and this was now. And now, Thomas was staggering around my kitchen floor, like a hairless hamster on ketamine (as a sidenote, once many many years later I found myself in the uncomfortable position on a stranger’s kitchen floor where I believed whole heartedly that I was a hairless hamster, only not one on ketamine. Turned out it was just me on ketamine) bumping occasionally into the skirting board. I couldn’t see him – I am having to trust the information my ears provided me to make this observation – all I could see was the top half of the mirror on the wall above the sink; the gap in the door to my left, on the other side of which Thomas mooched about aimlessly. (He would tire soon, his current burst of energy had been provided him by the turning of the key in his side, which I had taken care of just a couple of seconds before pausing our joyous play session, leaving the room and finding myself fighting for my life); and my knees. I could see my knees. I couldn’t really miss them, they were at eye level, a few inches from my face. I tried to move myself; to wriggle free. My knees were now above eye level. My feet were pointing up at the light in the ceiling. If I had been religious (or a moth) instinct may have driven me to attempt to go into the light. Who knows; for fortunately I was neither. I was also unable to move. Worse than all of this, the bottom of my arse was getting wet. I was sinking! I was going to get flushed away like a turd. A little, hairy turd. Again I sighed to myself, ‘Did not need this,’ (I had quite an understated and dry way of looking at the world as an infant) before shouting, ‘Help! Help!’

I may have blacked out for a moment, such was the traumatic nature of this episode, because I have no recollection of any moments passing between those cries and what I experienced next. I managed to open my eyes (which had both been closed due to fear) and there, standing over me, looking down with love in his eyes and a warm smile across his face, stood my granddad. He had heard my pleas and arrived from the living room to save my life. I would owe him for the rest of it. I was overcome with a feeling of complete love and gratitude towards this 50-year old man. He was clearly overwhelmed himself with the powerful bonding that was taking place, so overwhelmed in fact that it rendered him motionless to free me from my predicament. The realisation then hit that I had misinterpreted my granddad’s warm smile. He was laughing. The silent kind of laughing, induced by looking at something so funny it disables your voice box. I just looked at him. He looked at me. Nobody doing anything that could be considered productive. And then my granddad cleared his throat in an attempt to find his voice. ‘Janny, come and see this! It’s funnier than anything I could’ve imagined!’

‘Well then you are clearly the owner of a very poor imagination, Granddad. Would it not be funnier, for instance, if you had walked in here to find my head stuck in the tap? That’s just one example off the top of my head. I could think of loads,’ I said in my head.

Janny (known to me as Mum) then arrived on scene, pushing open the door fully, knocking my granddad on the shoulder. And then she saw me. Her little boy. Trapped. Scared. Humiliated! And she looked at her father, who by now had tears streaming down his cheeks. And for the first time throughout this whole ordeal I felt safe. Safe because my mum was on hand to save the day. But first she was quite rightly going to reprimand her callous dad. There was an almighty howl, but before I even had time to think ‘Wow, mum, go easy on Granddad!’ the howl turned into crying fits of giggles by both parties that I had wrongly assumed had been sent as part of a search and rescue mission. Clearly this was more search and destroy. Minutes passed. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Well, on the plus side, we’re in the year 1984, which means camera phones don’t exist.’

Eventually the laughter died down. I took pleasure from seeing Granddad hold his aching sides. I then wished they hadn’t been so achy, as half-way through lifting me out of the toilet bowl, he wobbled a bit and I thought I was going straight back in.

‘I told you I was better off with the fucking potty! I’m not ready for all this bourgeouis grown-up pretentious bollocks, alright Mum?’

She ignored me, instead turning to Granddad and saying, ‘Ooooh, it almost sounded like he wanted to tell us something then. It won’t be long before he’s forming sentences.’

‘He fell down the toilet! Little idiot!’ were the last words I remember Granddad saying.

I don’t mean that he’s dead. I mean they were the last words I remember him saying that day. I remember him saying plenty more since. Holy shit, imagine if those had been his actual last words ever before dying, and I’d had to live with that the rest of my life. You’d have to expect that me to grow up with issues. Fortunately I am not that me.

thomas

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Playin with the Players

Playin with the Players

thisisyouth

On the quest to live an interesting life.

an aimless hitchhiker...

a diary of a vagabond woman

Apropos of Nothing

for writing out loud

Projecting the Void

Random scribblings from the diaphanous inner mind of a neon cat

Atheisting

religion, politics, & sexuality from a feminist freethinker.

dinsanga11

Stoner's Story

FLOCKZINE

Childhood | Adulthood

Kryssie's Blog

I listen, I think, I speak.

elizabethburgess15

A PhD student's thoughts on all things Spanish and Sociolinguistics

A long way to justice: A route to the Roma grassroots

Vicente and Rebekah drive Spain to India.

Pinkjumpers

The corner of the internet where you should probably turn around.

Express Me, Then Depress Me

Suffers from instant need to flash breasts and yell at strangers. People think it's my inner feminist, but no, I'm just crazy, and not always in a fun way.

%d bloggers like this: