We were close right from the get-go. Within minutes of meeting, he stuck his finger in my ear wet-willy style, unearthed a dollop of leftover conditioner and presented it to me.
"You missed a bit," he said.
He straight-up crossed the boundary and closed any gap between us. Funny then that we've found ourselves in this bloody long-distance relationship.
His entry into my life was kind of like that index finger in the ear: unexpected. I'm Australian, he's English. I'd been living in London for almost two years when we met at a festival last summer, but I was about to leave. In a couple months, my visa was up and I had to go. And so began a whirlwind love affair.
I moved to Germany to stay "close," figuring Berlin-London was better than Berlin-Brisbane. We reckoned we could see each other once a month. Easy enough, we thought.
New city, foreign language, no friends. That was my situation. It was hard. And I missed him desperately.
His first visit to Berlin was pumped up to the next level. Plan, plan, plan. It all had to be perfect. We only see each other once a month, I thought frantically. Perfect, perfect, perfect, with a capital P.
Well, we had pee. And not the consonant. The bodily fluid.
He was arriving late-ish Friday evening, and I'd planned to pick him up from the airport. It was to be a movie-esque reunion. You know — we'd run into each other's arms, passionately kiss etc, etc.
Unfortunately, the train I was meant to catch never arrived. There was a notice in neon lights, but I was way too antsy to spot it. That, and I can't read German. I kept waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I looked up at the screen and it said something about the line I wanted to catch. Those flashing words meant nothing to me, but I knew it wasn't good.
I worked out the next best route. There was a stop involved. Usually, no problem. But, I'd downed a couple of beers with a mate before heading to the station. Add the extra-long stint on the platform and my bladder was about to burst.
Finally, the train rolled in. By this stage, I was clenching something chronic, struggling to hold it in. It was agony. Then came the stop. My eyes darted from left to right, surveying the scene, all the while bouncing from one foot to another like a nutjob.
Was there anywhere I could wee without being caught?
The final leg was horrible. One more stop, I prepared myself mentally. But that came and went, and there was still another to go.
That's when I lost control. I wet myself.
That's a bit of a fib. Yes, I pissed. On the train. But I'd made a conscious decision to do it — a decision spurred on by an inability to think straight — but conscious nonetheless.
I looked around. There was only one other soul in the carriage right at the other end, so I pulled down my pants and peed on the seat, using my coat to cover myself.
I was full to the brim and the upholstery could only hold so much. A warm, yellow river trickled down the carriage towards the unsuspecting passenger. Oh shit.
Thank God, it was my stop. I power walked off the train, trying to look natural
I was in a fair state when I arrived. Before heading to the gate to meet my man, I had to rush to the loo to sort myself out. I slipped out of my knickers and threw them in the bin. Luckily, they'd soaked most of the mess up, and my jeans were dry.
I was noticeably upset and very late by the time I found my boyfriend. He could sense my agitation, but I was far too embarrassed to tell him what had happened.
And so I lashed out. I kept it all inside. I was cold. I picked arguments. Let's be honest: I was a real bitch.
I did confess the next night. I relayed the whole sorry tale with eyes downcast, too disgusted with myself to look him square in the eye.
"I knew something was wrong!" he said, grabbing my hand and squeezing it. He thought it was hilarious and told me to give myself a break. He loved me, even if I did pee on public transport.
I considered telling a watered-down version of this story to incriminate myself less, but the metaphor was too spot-on. I put way too much pressure on the weekend. On myself. On us. And I exploded.
That piss was a relief. As was the realization that came from it. Long-distance is tough. It's OK to admit that. Our reunions won't always be perfect. Sometimes they'll be far from it. That's OK, too.
And you know what? One crappy weekend means zilch when you plan to spend your life together.