B.’s One Rule…”Don’t Flush No Pee”
I need to stress again that B. was not a “rule-maker”, she was a “rule-breaker” in every regard.
She had few rules applicable to me, only one really as far as I could remember. While at B’s, I
could go “barefeeted” outdoors, which I was never ever permitted to do at home. I could eat my
“Chee-wees“ (aka Cheetos) on the living room studio couch. (I recall most of the numerous
bags of B.’s chips being quite stale and I did not care. I still liked them.) Anyway, when I stayed
overnight, I didn’t even have to get my hair combed unless I wanted to and I usually didn’t want
to. Skipping my nightly bath was also an unspoken understanding between us two. B. didn’t
even make me wash my feet! I was allowed to sleep on the living room couch (another no-no at
home) despite the fact the soles of my feet were black as tar from roaming the neighborhood.
They were as black and shiny as patent-leather from “barefooting it” all day, up and down gravel
covered Front Street and the surrounding dirt packed yards.
However, she did forbid me to do one thing. Absolutely no toilet flushing! That’s right! B.
forbade me to flush her “commode” because thought that “flushing pee” was a waste of water.
She said once a day pee flushing was enough because it took six gallons of water for every
single flush. Now if you left something floating around in the commode, flushing was okay, but
plain old pee, you’d better not flush! I think B. received that mandate from Tam, “the H2O
expert”, since he always worked for the City of Hattiesburg’s Water Department. (He stayed
there 49 years!) Since I wasn’t required to bathe or wash my feet when spending the night, I
could easily abide by her one rule. I didn’t like the rule, but I obeyed.
I vividly remember the “aroma” of her bathroom. It was a blended “perfumey” cocktail of stale
snuff and urine. Though surreal, difficult to reveal and even harder to comprehend is the fact
that her clearly recognizable bathroom scent (stench) has wafted past me at least twice since
her death. I smiled and whispered, “Hey there, B.”