Day 5 – “Stuck”
(Freewriting for 5 minutes every day in October – OK, I wrote for 10 min. today)
It happened in August 1970. Bo and I had just visited his relatives in Zagreb and left to drive through Austria and back to his brother’s house in Switzerland. We were on a small, dingy road outside of the city when I got another bout of stomach cramps and was desperate for a place to stop. Finally, we saw a small country inn set far back from the road. Bo stopped the car and I jumped out and ran down the walk to the inn. . It was mid afternoon but it was dark inside, loud music was playing, and I was facing a bar where several men and a couple of employees were talking. They, of course, all turned to stare at me.
I tried to indicate I needed a water closet, but they didn’t understand, so I took a paper from the bar and printed “WC” on it. Oh, the waitress nodded knowingly, and took me to a side room to point out the bathroom.
As I entered the tiny space , the door closed behind me, and I saw that there was no doorknob, a concern. Modern conveniences had barely made it to the inn, but there was a flushing toilet with a tank mounted high on the wall overhead. A tiny square window about 5 feet off the floor was the light source.
After some time when I was ready to leave, I tried to open the door but no luck. I couldn’t do it. I tried calling and pounding on the door, but no one heard me, probably because of the loud music. I kept thinking that maybe someone would come to check on me since I’d been in there so long. Finally, out of desperation — and I kept asking myself WHY DOESN’T BO COME TO CHECK ON ME??? — I crawled up onto the toilet and was able to pull myself up to the window ledge and open it wide. In the distance s a farmer was plowing a field. He was my only hope, so I just kept leaning out of the window waving my arms until, luckily, he looked up and saw me. When he realized I needed help, he left the field and went to the inn.
By then, I was upset, embarrassed, angry, nearly crying. When the excited waitress opened the door, her words sounded apologetic, but I started to cry and actually ran out of the inn to the car.
When I got in, Bo asked, “What too you so long?”