The Bedwetter

I've never mentioned this shameful thing to anyone. Until now.

I recently adopted a rescue puppy named Mikey. And she just doesn't get this house-training idea. In fact, tonight she pissed on the floor right in front of me. It's frustrating as hell.

But it does ring a bell. Karma?

I was a bedwetter, and wet my bed until I was 12 years old. I haven't allowed myself to think of this in years. Being a bedwetter is not my deepest, darkest secret—I'm hoping that one will go to the grave with me—but it's very close. I've never mentioned my bedwetting to anyone. Not to my two wives. Hardly to myself. I'm too ashamed. It's a shameful thing to me even now.

My parents did all they could. I wasn't permitted to drink liquid after 6 o'clock at night. They bought plastic sheets. They sent me to a shrink. But, nevertheless, come morning, every morning, the bed was wet.

The shrink said it was because of my dad. That's a shrink for you. But who the fuck really knows?

I've always been a deep, deep sleeper, even as a little kid. Maybe it was just too much trouble for me to get up, go to the bathroom and take a piss.

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Maybe I liked it, that warm sensation in the middle of the night. Or perhaps it was prepubescent eroticism.

There was an old joke that made the rounds in my 4th grade class:

Question: "Who wrote the book 'Yellow River?' "

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Answer: "I.P. Nightly."

Haha. Not a bad joke—unless it's on you.

At some point, around 5th grade, it got around the neighborhood that I was a bedwetter. Oh, Jesus Fuck! I did the best I could to counter this with the other kids. I told them I had a faulty kidney and wasn't expected to live too much longer. I told them Einstein was a bedwetter. I got in a few fights over it. And I kept wetting my bed.

When I was in 6th grade, my school sent our class off to overnight camp for a week. Somehow the school district had a surplus of funds that had to be spent before the year was out. So off to Holiday Hills we all went.

I was petrified. I would be sharing a cabin room with my buddy classmates. In bunk beds! My mom, god bless her, packed my bag for me, and tucked inside was a towel. She told me to just slip that towel onto my bed each night. No one will ever know.

My first night at Holiday Hills, we went to an assembly. That's when I met Eileen. Eileen was the first girl who ever noticed me. Not only noticed me—she gave me a wink. I had suddenly discovered girls. No, a girl. Eileen.

When the assembly was over I went back to my cabin. I unrolled the towel and placed it atop the sheet. I got into bed and went to sleep. Maybe I dreamt about Eileen. When I woke up in the morning, the bed was dry.

And I haven't wet my bed since, thank the Lord!

I have no idea how or why I suddenly stopped. I can't quite make out if there was any connection or not between having a girl from long ago paying a bit of attention to me and my suddenly ceasing to wet my bed. That's for that shrink, also from long ago, to figure out. It's all kind of weird, I have to admit.

OK, I have to go walk Mikey now. If I wake up in the morning to find a pool of pee on the floor, well, she's only four months old. I'll cut her some slack. Or send her to a dog shrink.

Tags: memoirs