It was around 10.30 that Charles realised he had drunk two large cups of coffee, and one large mug of tea, along with a few small glasses of water while he was reading the applicants’ document. They want one new member of the editorial boards for their magazine Botanique, a magazine about the environment, gardening, ecology, and human relations to nature. There are three applicants coming up. One of them has just finished their interview with them and they are quite sure this applicant is going to fail. She used to work in a Children Literature’s publishing house, and knew very little about botany, environmental studies, or gardening. Now, Jennifer, the second interviewee, who practically designs gardens, impresses him, and yet she isn’t impressive enough for Robin and Susan. He realizes his bladder is quite full when Susan starts questioning Jennifer about her definition of nature. Though he sees Susan as a great colleague, he hates Susan when she asks philosophical questions. Artists cannot answer them. He, Charles Grayson, is well-known in the world of arts and gardening because he won prizes at botanical festivals. He doesn’t have to answer philosophical questions. He actually felt the need to pee at tennish, when the second interview has started. He loves this talented woman, and hates hearing philosophical questions from Susan. He even hates it more when he can feel the fullness of his bulging bladder as he crosses his legs and opens Jennifer’s portfolio to appreciate the beauty of the gardens she has designed around the country. They are lovely and ornate, though he hates seeing waterfalls and fountains right now.
Charles grabs his crotch under the table as another wave of desperation hits him. He moans softly, hiding his face behind the portfolio. Susan is still asking, “So nature is beautiful to you? Is it just beautiful?” He sees Robin look at the clock. Robin is always an arbiter between them. Robin is surely coming to his rescue. He hopes Robin is going to say something as he is sneakily grabbing his crotch in his trousers pocket, but Robin is still quiet. Susan is still asking, “what if I talk about tornado, volcano, or tsunami, would you think nature is still beautiful?”
“Come on, Robin,” Charles thinks, as he squirms. Nature is beautiful for him and for Jennifer, and that’s it, Ms. Philosopher! He doesn’t know how to interrupt Susan’s long speech on eco-philosophy/ ecocriticism, whatever she calls it. Finally, he sees Robin taps the desk softly. Susan and Jennifer stop. Charles sighs and smiles as Robin gestures to speak.
“Well, I have a question for you, Jennifer. The last question. If your gardening art heals people’s mind and makes them appreciate nature more, how will your arts work in the situation of natural disaster?”
Robin doesn’t end the interview as he expects. It’s almost ten forty now, and he feels the need getting stronger and stronger. He isn’t usually quite careful about what he drinks, and he always finishes the interview without having to pee this bad, at least. Robin doesn’t help, but goes along with Susan. Jennifer now sounds foolish to him. It seems she lacks her originality and ideas. Yet, those things need experience.
“Thank you, Jennifer. Do you have anything to ask us?” Robin asks.
“No, Mr. Brookner. I would like to ask if Mr. Grayson would be so kind to sign his book for me. I am one of your fans.”
Charles crosses his legs under the desk, as he moves over to sign the copy of his book Pruning for Jennifer. It is pure torture when he has to bend over with a bursting bladder. He can’t help wincing when he moves forward. It seems everybody has noticed his desperation, but they do not care. Charles sees Robin winking at him, seemingly he knows that he needs to pee. Robin whispers to him, “hold on tight, Charlie. This is the last guy.” Charles sighs and obeys.
“I know what you think, Charles,” Susan speaks as she reads the next applicant’s profile, “I appreciate Jennifer’s art work too, especially this fountain paradise at Greenman Hall in Dorset.” She shows the photos of elaborate fountain design, which makes Charles cross his legs once again. “We have two positions for editors, and Jennifer could be one, though she had to learn more about the philosophical side of it. Yet, I do appreciate her responsibility in terms of water conservation.”
“Speaking of water conservation,” Robin skims through the profile, “Have they finished fixing the restroom next to the lift?”
“Not yet. As far as I know,” Susan says, not seeing Charles grabbing for his life. “I’ve told Morton publishing upstairs that we might have to share the toilets with them for a whole day. They have no problems.”
Robin pats Charles’ shoulder, whispering, “it won’t be long, Charlie.”
A bespectacled young man has entered. He, James Golding, is the last applicant today. Charles sighs softly in joy, and yet to think that he is so close to relief doesn’t do him any good. Charles crosses his legs, beginning the interview,
“Good morning! Mr. James Golding!” James smiles, despite his inner impending flood. He thinks he can feel a little moisture inside. Maybe he was imagining it. “You have an interesting profile. Translating Japanese garden books to English, you must be able to explain your favourite thing about Japanese gardens.”
“Oh I love the peace and the quietude,” the young man explains, “Though we often see Japanese garden as a style of decoration, and sometimes we can’t help it, but Japanese garden has their own philosophy and has often been a part of Japanese temples for ages. The use of white pebble reflects emptiness, lying at the heart of everything. The large rock signifies Nirvana, the aim of Buddhist practitioners.You can see that the gardens are mostly situated …”
“Excuse me, is Nirvana heaven?” Robin asks out of curiosity.
“No…” James smiles and explains. Charles is sure this man loves explaining so much, and, despite his great amount of knowledge, he doesn’t want to hear about his explanation that long. He squirms as the man is explaining about Buddhist concept of emptiness and true happiness. He is, in contrast, quite full, and ready to burst. He seeks this emptiness right now.
“Thank you, Mr. Golding,” Charles cuts the explanation short, and looks at the man’s photos of his garden decoration. He finds it too messy. “To your face, I find your garden too messy. It looks almost like a wilderness, than a garden.”
“Guilty as charge, sir,” James smiles once again. Is this man smiling in every situation in his life? He looks a little nervous, but smiling still. “My garden is not quite tidy, and I’m not that meticulous, but I can assure you I can be a good columnist and editor for your magazine. I have a philosophy behind this. I mean, my garden is experimental, more like a petri-dish. I just want to see what happens if I leave some of the area of the garden almost on their own, watering them sometimes though.” James smiles. Charles wonder how the man waters his garden from time to time.His suspicion makes him wince.
“So you appreciate the work of nature, even if there are venomous spiders and dirty mould?” Susan asks. Charles hates this moment of Susan’s test. Susan wants to see if this man is clever enough to beat her. He knows it will be long after this. He’s looking in panic for vases or cups. In this room with glass walls, he has nowhere to hide for his urgent action. He grits his teeth as he listens to the man talks about his ideas about nature.
“I think the word nature has so many meanings, and we have the word “human nature”, which means, in a way, we cannot separate nature from human beings as we always do,” James explains and gesticulates. “Our body and mind comes from evolution and co-evolution with many other species, and the word nature can be simple as well as complex, can be everywhere and nowhere. The forest represents one appearance of nature, the river represents another, a sewage can also represent nature, the way we eat, we drink, we excrete, we urinate. That’s nature. What we’re doing now represent nature as well.”
“Good,” Susan sounds happy, “Last question?”
“No questions,” Robin pats Charles’ shoulder again. “Thank you, Mr. Golding.”
As Charles close the door, Susan says,
“Jennifer and James,”
“Agree,” Charles stands up and winces. He tries not to show his desperation to Susan. “I think I need to sign some documents for Matthew.”
“So you’re going back to your room, Charles?” Susan asks.
“Mr. Ekidu needs to call you about the new issue on South African flower industry today.”
“Yes, Matthew told me about that,” Charles just doesn’t understand why Susan has to detain him.
“Good. He’s calling around 11, so please hurry,” Susan leaves the room. Charles grabs his crotch and gets puzzled. Mr. Ekidu will call him at 1 pm, not 11 am. He checks the organiser on his way out and he’s wrong. It’s 11 am. Now his phone is beeping to warn him 15 minutes before the call. The toilet upstairs looks so far away from here. He squirms and grabs his crotch. He can feel the dampness. He’s sure this is real. He thinks he has some containers inside his small bin somewhere in his room. He can use that.
He enters the room, filled with large office plants. Matthew leaves documents and files on his desks, and leaves for his special research for Botanique. He searches his bin but finds it empty. Sometimes, the office cleaner works too well.
He grits his teeth, and moans out loud in desperation. He’s shocked, when he could feel a small rivulet of urine leaks out of his cock. He grabs it tight. He knows grabbing doesn’t help much at this point. The plants. Yes. The plants. He stands among them with his back to his office door. No sooner has he unzips, the door is knocked.
“Come in,” he speaks by habit and regrets it. He hasn’t unzipped yet, but can’t stop squirming.
“James, sir,” He can recall the voice. It’s the young man he just met at the interview. “Susan told me to leave this file on your desk, sir.”
“Thank you, James,”
“You’ve got a huge plant, sir,” James noted the plants which cover the lower half of his body. "One question, sir..."
"Yes," Charles leaks once more. One of his socks is now wet. He just wants to see, "please leave, now!"
"Where is the toilet, sir? I think the toilet's on our floor is..." Charles is quite sure that the man was holding just like him in the interview, so he sounds fine.
"You have to go upstairs, and use the toilet near the lift, next to Morton Publishing." Charles wishes he could appear there in one second too.
“Thank you, sir. Enjoy nature and have a nice day, sir.”
As soon as James leaves, Charles unzips and gushes upon his large tree pot forcefully and copiously. He wouldn’t recommend this as a method of watering plants because the water is too forceful, but he doesn’t care about gardening for just a moment. He just learned that as James talked to him, his bladder was slowly giving in, and he has long trail of urine on his grey slacks. He sighs. He is quite embarrassed to wet himself, but is elated because of this huge relief, splattering around the flower pot as well as the floor. He farts. He smiles. He has never felt so good in his life. He keeps urinating on and on. The phone beeps to remind him that it’s the time for Mr. Ekidu’s call, but he’s urinating so hard right now and he just can’t stop. Mr. Ekidu can wait. Mr. Ekidu must know how good it feels after you have peed a lot out, and he hasn’t finished yet. Let him just enjoy this aspect of human nature a bit more.
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