Guest Writer: Elli Brooks
I have many fears. For instance, I am afraid of sharks, being buried alive, dying alone, sand and most of all, outhouses.
Outhouses haven’t always been a worry of mine until the summer of 2006 when I was around the age of six.
Let’s start from the beginning. Every summer since I can remember, my whole family would go camping on my aunt and uncle’s farm. They lived on hundreds of acres of land, and they made a campsite off their creek where we would live off the land for about a week in the middle of July.
Even though the house was just up the trail, we were not allowed to go in it or use anything in it. For instance, we made omelets in plastic bags over a fire, we bathed in the creek hole and we could only use the outhouse on the site.
For those of you who don’t know what outhouses are, I will take the time to explain it to you so you can empathize with me in the future.
Dictionary.com explains it as “an outbuilding with one or more seats and a pit serving as a toilet.” In other words, it’s a ghetto, hick version of a portable toilet. This outhouse at the farm was built with two locks—one on the inside for obvious reasons and one on the outside for animal protection at night.
Now that you have the visual, let me set up the situation for you. It was around 1 p.m. I was in the middle of playing a game of tag with my cousins when one of them needed to go to the bathroom. Like any good child would do, they stopped to use the restroom so they would have more playing time in the future.
My younger cousin and I headed to the outhouse. Remember, I was six, and my cousin was two years younger, so we were pretty short kids at this time. We could not reach the high lock on the inside.
As a bright young child, I suggested that I would lock my cousin in from the outside for privacy. When he was done, I would unlock it so we could switch. I thought everything went smoothly as I let him do his business, and I stood to watch.
At this point, I was eager to go to the bathroom. When he was done, I reminded him of what he needed to do as I went. In a matter of a few seconds, I heard someone yell his name to play, and he ran off. In mid-pee, I could do nothing but sit there.
When I finished, I stood up and screamed his name to say I was done, but there was no response. I was in a dark, smelly tiny space sitting down the trail from everyone in my family.
No matter how hard I pounded on the door or screamed, no one could hear me. I just had to wait until someone noticed I was missing. An hour and a half later, my mom opened the door to find a scared, tearful girl curled up in the corner scarred for life.
Elli Brooks is a sophomore social work major from Anderson, Indiana.