The second time it happened was a few weeks later at a drive-in movie. Dan and I were in the Paint Your Wagon wagon. It was inland, in a place I hadn’t been before. It was on a weekend night and it was packed. We watched the first movie and, because I have TB (which is Tiny Bladder), I went to the snack bar at intermission to use the restroom. It was brightly lit, and like moths to a lightbulb, there were what seemd like hundreds of people there. People were lined up for popcorn, french fries, candy, drinks, etc. The mood was loud and boisterous. The smell of grease was intense. There were people there, the likes of which I hadn’t ever seen; men in hair curlers and bedroom slippers, enormously fat people pushing their kids ahead of them to get into line for food, young dudes with hair nets, wife beater t-shirts and menacing eyes, and grown ups in pajamas.
The line to the ladies’ room was long, people were cutting in line, I REALLY had to pee, and the next movie was about to start. I tried to not look anyone in the eyes and blend into the background. My hippie self did not look like anyone else in sight. I finally got into the bathroom and saw a woman changing her baby’s nasty diaper on the sink. I went into a stall, the toilet was broken and shit was in the bowl. I crouched over the seat and peed onto it, having no other option. No toilet paper of course. I gagged and pulled my panties up and slunk out. I kept my head down and tried not to look at or touch anyone as I escaped the bathroom and tried to find the car. It wasn’t where I thought it would be and I just kept walking the rows in the dark to find it, getting more and more upset thinking Dan had left me. I hadn’t taken my purse when I went to the snack bar and had no money on me and it was decades before the cell phone would be invented. Finally, as the movie started I saw it a couple of rows ahead and I was so relieved I ran and got in, shaking.
The drive-in was under the flight path of planes, probably from LAX, and oocasionally one flew over low probably coming in for a landing. The sound was overwhelming and the smell of fuel gagging. Between the sound and the smell and the thought of having to go back to that bathroom, I just knew I had to get out of there. I told Dan I was sick and had to leave. He didn’t want to go, it was a movie he really wanted to see. I pleaded with him, said I was going to throw up in the car, and he finally gave in and hung the speaker on the pole and we left, inching out of the drive-in with our lights off to not disturb the other people there.
We drove the few miles home and I just held onto the door handle for dear life. Something awful was going to happen if I didn’t get home. I didn’t really know what that was, but It would be really really bad. We finally pulled up in front of the store (we lived in the back) and I ran inside and turned all the lights on and collapsed on the bed. Two minutes later I was up and fine, normal, having a snack, and reading a book. Dan got really pissed at me for making him leave the movie for nothing. He accused me of faking sick to get out of seeing it. He couldn’t understand how I could be so sick and desperate one minute and then relaxed and content and acting like nothing was wrong the next. I had no answer for him.
And that was the second time.