Nighttime in the jungle is dark, aside from the fireflies and occasional glow of a headlamp. When you had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you could either grab your headlamp, put some shoes on and take a stroll to to the toilet, or go off the side of the hut. The huts were raised about five feet off the ground. As a female with corresponding lady parts, I'd found my preferred method of squatting off the side successfully. With at least one foot on the floor, I'd anchor myself by holding onto one of the bamboo "bedposts" with one hand, while at the same time wrapping my other arm around the nearby hammock to make sure I was able to clear the edge. With four of us to a hut, it was quick, quiet, and effective. Sure, I was partly in mid-air; in the blanket of darkness, all was well.
One night, precisely at the moment I justified that the fullness of my bladder was urgent enough to rouse myself out of all the sleep-or-pee-sleep-or-pee conversations that take place when you're half asleep, I heard Andrés whisper in the dark from his bed across the way.
"Trinity. Hey. Are you awake? I think there are wild boars out there!"
"What!?" I whisper-screamed, "Are you SURE? Cuz I have to pee real bad right now."
"Yeah, I can hear them breathing. If you have to go, just don't go on my side..."
I listened. The sounds I heard led me to believe him. By that point on our trip, we were developing an ear for your average jungle sound, compared to the something big and wild is breathing and tromping around out there type of sound.
Once I heard the latter, the fear crept in. My eyes began to search the dark as I lay there, now fully awake. My mind spun out: Okay, boars don't just stay in one place. What if they're super curious tonite? I'm only like ten feet away from his side of the hut. They could walk underneath and across to my side. Don't worry. It will be fine. It's not like they're after me or anything. BUT what if I peed on the mama boar's head, or worse, the baby boar's head! I would dishonor their entire wild boar family... and papa boar, who might be circling the perimeter, would find out, his eyes would light up bright red like in the cartoons and then he'd surprise me with his wild animal speed, come charging, and skewer me with a wild boar tusk!
Yet, all the looney toons scenarios in my mind couldn't stop the bladder pain now. How much time had gone by? I really needed to go. I was getting sweaty and breathing deeply for focus now. I had to take the risk. I didn't even bother with my headlamp or shoes. Stealth was better. I felt my way around, peeled back my mosquito net, and barefooted, with all the primal skill my body could muster, I found my hand grips, secured my footing, and cirque du soleil-ed my bladder into the night.
Ahhhh...the feeling of slow release into emptiness. If mama and papa boar came to get me, at least I'd be at peace and out of pain. Several silent sighs of relief left my mouth from the best orgasmo jungle pee ever. I carefully made my way back to my bed and tucked the netting back in. Laid all the way down.
Another whisper came from across the way.
"Hey, if you do need help peeing, I'll help you!"
I grinned, both at my victory and the offer to help. Also, did thirty seconds just pass in what felt like an hour?
"Uh, all good. I already went. Thank you though!"
Once again I got lost in the sound of the crickets, pajaros, monkeys, and owls. I fell back asleep, smiling.