the night watchman
Will Caligari found that he was waking up every morning when the heater kicked on to pee. The sound of the heat coming on is barely noticeable, there must be some subconscious connection between this noise and his bladder springing to attention.
Will did not like this. Not one bit.
What it meant, to him anyway, was that while he was sleeping, someone else was at the helm.
He immediately got the image of a night watchman. A man who looks vaguely like him and has the largest key ring hanging off his belt that you can imagine. Walking up and down the longest hallways you can imagine. The sound of jangling keys echoing down the halls with every stride. The sound of footsteps, leather soles squeaking on marble. Passing, every now and then, a man using one of those big floor scrubbers. A man that looks vaguely like an older version of himself. A man that always gives him a smile as he passes.
Maybe now you can appreciate why Will didn’t like the idea of some stranger making critical decisions on his behalf.
The same guy, no doubt, who was fumbling through a zillion keys every time Will wanted to remember something. Sometimes he found the key to unlock the memory in a few tries, sometimes it would take months. Sometimes Will would be out with friends at a social function when all of a sudden the key would turn and “Aha!” he would remember something.
“I’ll pee when I’m good and ready to pee” he would mumble to himself under the covers, but his bladder would be good and ready and he could never fall back to sleep until he emptied it. The noise of the pee hitting the porcelain reminding him of jangling keys. Occasionally his stomach would rumble like the noise a floor scrubber makes and he’d close his eyes and see the long hallway whether he wanted to or not.
Maybe now you can understand why Will didn’t like the idea of calling this night watchman a night watchman or even (and especially) a stranger. Add to that growing list that Will didn’t like that everyone walking those long hallways looked vaguely like him.
What the hell is going on as he sleeps?
If he turns off the heat before drifting off will he pee the bed?
“Not on my watch” says a voice in his head.