Rick And Fran

This story isn’t originally from me. It was told to my friend Frances by her husband, Rick. Rick related the details of the incident to Fran and she gave them to me, she was sure, pretty much intact. What follows is my narration of what happened including what I speculate was the dialog.

In 1989, before Rick met Fran, he lived in an old apartment in Baltimore. The building’s owners claimed to be in the process of installing central air conditioning; he didn’t know if that was true, because for the six months he was there, work was suspended. They were doing something with the cold air return system that allowed sound to travel between Rick’s bathroom and the one for the next apartment. If there was no other sound in the area, he could (barely) hear sounds in that next room, providing he listened carefully. Usually, he did not, except one night when, at about 3 a.m., he was awakened by what sounded like an enema nozzle clinking against the bathtub. That’s a sound he said he had learned at a very young age when his step mother would prepare an enema for him and, as she screwed the hose adapter into the hot water bottle, it would invariably clink against the side of the tub.

While the sound may not have been very loud, the nature of it caused him such excitement, Rick woke up. As he continued to wake up, the sound in the next bathroom became clear and he went into his, closed the door, and listened.

“Okay, honey,” came a woman’s voice. “Your enema’s ready.” Rick was now wide awake and listening intently. “C’mon. It won’t be too bad.”

“I don’t mind,” came the sound of a child’s voice. While the people were next door neighbors, he had never seen them, at least that he knew of.

“There are a few ways we can do this, Peg,” she said. “On your side would be best.”

“No, Connie, I want it like Mom gives it.”

“Oh, how’s that?”

“Over her lap.”

“Her lap?” she asked, tentatively.

“Yeah. She hangs the bag from the shower curtain rod. It’s on a heavy twine and it comes down to about here.”

“I don’t think I have any twine. Besides the best way to get an enema is on your left side.”

“Is that how you take yours?”

“Peg,” she said, now becoming a trifle impatient, “this is not my enema. It’s yours and we need to do it before it gets cold.”

As though Connie hadn’t said anything, Peg continued, “Mom leans against the side of the tub and I lay across her lap. If you don’t have twine, you could hang the bag from the towel rack. That would be the easiest way for you. Really.”

“All right, but I’ll lean against the wall. Kick off your jammies.’

There was momentary silence then Connie said, “Okay. C’mon.”

In another moment, Peg said, “See, I’m not so heavy.”

“No, I guess not.”

“You’ll have to spread my cheeks with one hand and put that in with the other. Did you put Vaseline on it?”

“I will in a minute, Peg. Jesus! Gimme a break. I know how to give an enema!”

“Sorry,” said Peg not sounding very apologetic.

“There, is that all right?”

“Yeah, but you’ll have to hold on so it doesn’t slip out.”

“I know that!”

“Connie, I don’t mean to tell you your business, but you never gave me an enema before and, well, I just don’t know how good you are.”

“I’m good enough to give you an enema, Peggy. After all, when I called your mom, it was my idea. If I had no idea how to do it, would I have suggested it?”

“No. I guess not,” said Peg, reasonably.

“You ready?”

“Yep.”

Rick thought he heard the clamp click open, but he couldn’t be certain. In any event, in a minute he heard Connie ask, “Is that all right, honey?”

“Yeah, it’s fine. And it’s not even a little cold.” Changing the subject, she said, “You never answered my question.”

“What question?”

“About the way you take your enema. Or do you take them?” Not waiting for an answer, she went ahead. “Maybe you never have an enema. Maybe you just give them to your nieces and nephews,” she baited.

Perhaps Connie was beginning to realize her niece was pulling her strings, because she regained her lost patience as she said, “No, Peg, I’ve had enemas. And you know I don’t have any nephews and only have one niece — you.”

“Do you take them for constipation?”

“I’m never constipated.”

“Then when you’re sick?”

Becoming testy, Connie replied “I’m never sick. Anyway, Peggy, I don’t see what business it is of yours whether I ever have an enema!”

“Well,” Peg responded logically, “what we’re doing here is an enema…” Then, changing tone, she said, anxiously, “Hold it, Connie. Oh, I’m getting stuffed! I feel like I gotta shit!”

“Peg! Really! You’re not gonna, as you say, shit. Breathe through your mouth like a puppy dog. Besides…”

“Well, help me!” she panted. “Squeeze my butt!”

“All right! I’ll squeeze your butt while I pinch the hose!” Then, in a more level tone, Connie said, “Lord, honey, you’ve taken barely a third already.”

After a long moment, Peg said, “It’s okay now. I can take some more.”

Rick heard nothing for several minutes, then he heard Peg ask, “You say you made up a quart?”

“About that.”

“Mom gives me a quart-and-a-half.” “There’s no way I believe that. You’re struggling to take this much. And I’ll tell you, Precocious, if you can’t take one quart, you’ll have to evacuate this and then try again. An enema of less than a quart doesn’t count.”

“I’ll take it, Aunt Connie. As I started to say,” she continued congenially, “what we’re doing here is an enema. What better time would there be for me to ask about how you do it?”

“All right. I guess,” said Connie. “I’ll tell you all about it. But how’re you doing now?”

“Good. I’m getting it all right and it’s still not cooled down.”

“I take an enema once a month…”

“At the start of your period?” Peg interrupted.

“Well, yeah,” Connie said, a little surprised.

“Mom takes one when she gets her period.”

“I know.”

“You do?” Now Peg was surprised. “How do you know that?”

“Because your mom is my sister.”

“Yeah, but…”

“And sisters know everything about each other.”

“Really?” she asked in wonder.

“Yep. Both your mom and I had terrible cramps when we first started to get periods, then Grandma tried giving us enemas and it helped a lot.”

“Then I s’pose Mom will give me enemas when I start.”

“Maybe. You’ll have to ask her. And maybe you won’t have such difficult periods.”

“Do you take it on your side?”

“The answer to that question will have to wait until the next time I give you an enema, if there is a next time, ‘cause the bag’s empty and you have to empty out. Go ahead. I’ll clean the equipment while you get started.”

“If you don’t mind, Aunt Connie, I’ll be excused. I prefer to have my bowel movements by myself.”

“All right!”

Rick heard the door close.

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