My Greatest Fear #39: Doing the One Thing You Absolutely Must Not Do

The cup of urine stared at me. I stared back. I knew I was moments away from drinking it.

Let’s back up a little.

On my recent post about beautiful places in the world, I mentioned the sensation you get when you’re on top of a tall building or cliff and you know that the very last thing you should do is to fall off. You’re so focused on not doing that one thing that you start to worry if that’s the one thing you actually will do.

This fear isn’t just about falling off cliffs. Have you ever held a baby? You know when you hold a baby that the one thing you absolutely must not do is drop the baby. The one thing. When I hold babies (which doesn’t happen often enough–babies are the cutest), I’m thinking, “Don’t drop the baby don’t drop the baby don’t drop the baby.” But I remain scared that my arms are suddenly going to let go.

Another example is yelling during a moment of silence. Again, it’s the one thing you absolutely must not do. It’s right there in the name: moment of silence. But the longer that moment goes, the more you worry that you’re going to tilt back your head and yell something about Garbage Pail Kids.

Back to the urine.

After college, I lived with two roommates in a three-bedroom apartment. There was only one bathroom, though, so we staggered our schedules in the morning.

Mountain-Dew-Energy-550x371One morning I woke up early with a start. My bladder was bursting. I rushed to the bathroom…and discovered it was in use. One of my roommates had just started his shower.

Maybe some dudes can pee while their friends shower, but we weren’t those dudes. I paced around for a few minutes, thinking I could hold it. But I couldn’t wait any longer.

I weighed my options. I could go outside in the alley and pee. It wasn’t a bad idea, and I think I came very close to doing that. But then I thought of another option.

One of my roommates had a few of those giant, 40-ounce, cheap plastic cups in the kitchen. I figured we didn’t need all of them, so I grabbed one, limped back to my bedroom, and let loose in the cup. I filled it to the brim within seconds.

I placed the cup near my closed door and sat down on the corner of my bed. That’s when the staring contest began. I knew the last thing I should possibly do was drink the urine. I’m not even sure how the thought entered my mind as something I would do, but once I had the thought, I couldn’t let go of it. I knew that it was such a terrible idea that I might somehow end up doing it.

Perhaps you want this story to end with me drinking 40 ounces of urine. I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. Fortunately, though, I didn’t do the one thing I absolutely must not do. When the bathroom became available, I poured the urine into the toilet and threw away the cup.

Have you ever had this sensation I’m describing? No, not the sensation to drink urine. The sensation that you’re a hair away from doing the one thing you absolutely must not do. Have you ever actually done it?

8 thoughts on “My Greatest Fear #39: Doing the One Thing You Absolutely Must Not Do”

  1. This is hilarious. I know exactly what you’re talking about. (Not the drinking urine part–the doing what you’re not supposed to do part.) I think everyone suffers from that… Or at least, I hope so. Otherwise, we’re a couple of weirdos.

  2. So you mean like when the character in a movie is absolutely NOT supposed to press the red button and knows that, but still obsesses over the thought of possibly pressing the red button? Oh yeah, we all know that feeling. How else would I have tasted those little beads that come inside new shoes/shoe boxes? Hey, they look like sugar packets…but taste like death.
    Glad you did no drink the urine. Although I would have been glad to turn on my TV and see you featured on an episode of TLC’s My Weird Addiction.

    • There’s a show about weird addictions now? I have a feeling I shouldn’t watch it.

      Well done trying those shoe pellets. I think that’s a small victory over Nike.

  3. Good thing you didn’t need to poo. During college, one of the roommates was showering and another needed to use the toilet who ended up pooing without tell the other in the shower. She later on came out of the shower saying she smelled like poo. Ewww.

  4. That show is so odd. It’s streaming on Netflix, and I was home sick a few weeks ago and wanted something mindless to watch while I laid on the couch. I can’t believe some of the things these people were eating–drywall, soap, pottery, dryer sheets, toilet paper, etc. Most of these people had obvious personal issues or emotional traumas that were causing their compulsions, and it was kind of sad to watch. After a few episodes, I had to turn it off. I did a “Locked Up Abroad” marathon instead. 🙂

  5. I feel this way with secrets sometimes. You know you’re not supposed to tell anyone, but sometimes you feel like it’s taking all of your willpower not to shout it out during a conversation–a conversation that’s usually with the one person to whom you can’t tell the secret. So far I’ve succeeded, but the internal struggle is always there!

    • Ha ha…I know exactly what you’re talking about, Katie. You know you’re not going to say it, but you’re SO close to blurting it out! That’s one movie/TV contrivance that I can relate to


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