I'll bet you thought I was kidding about the hoses. Ha! Joke's on you. Why would I hold back when I have no doubt that you are enthralled by my detailed accounts of outdoor chores? Truthfully, I am positively assailed by doubts that you care about this du tout, but isn't blogging really just the author talking to herself? (a thing I do in actuality with increasing/alarming frequency. I find that I cannot make it through a grocery store visit without accompanying myself with persistent, audible narration. Surely this is worrisome?) And I find the sidewalk outside my house to be terribly compelling, so it is a hot topic of conversation with myself. I'm not even kidding. You have no idea how much time I spend thinking and muttering about my corner of the urban landscape. Shall I tell you why?
Peeing. That's why. And no. It's not dogs. It's dudes.
There is an absolutely unbelievable amount of urine that is dispensed by passing men in the corner by my garage door. Sometimes, after particularly copious amounts of beer have been consumed, one imagines, the quantity is sufficient to create seepage into the garage proper. The degree to which this disgusts and infuriates me cannot be overstated. I have lived on fairly significant urban thoroughfares since 1992 and never before have any of my dwellings been mistaken for a more than usually commodious urinal. The pee is always in the same corner and it happens with baffling frequency. Would you pee on a house? Of course you wouldn't.
I have spent a lot of time trying to figure this out and the best theory I can come up with is that between the bar two blocks away and my garage, there is no other deep-set corner. There are a great many doorways (but peeing in a doorway is even worse and maybe the urinators have standards? Once someone opened our front gate and came in to pee in the [nicely swept] entryway. I exploded with fiery indignation and have only recently been pieced back together.) and numerous garages. However, those garages are flush with the wall of their building and even with the sidewalk. Meanwhile, my garage is set back from the sidewalk by about three feet (which makes backing out without killing people a special challenge, but that's another story altogether) creating: Pee Corner.
MEN OF SAN FRANCISCO: HEAR ME NOW. THERE IS A SPECIALIZED PEE RECEPTACLE AT THE BAR. PROBABLY NEAR THE BACK. IN A SPECIAL LITTLE ROOM EXCLUSIVELY FOR PEOPLE WITH PENISES. IT IS NOT AGAINST THE WALL UNDER MY BEDROOM WINDOW.
Previously, my upstairs neighbor used to occasionally take it upon himself to hose down the sidewalk, the front stairs,and the gritty garage doors. But he moved (with his relentlessly noisy children. Goodbye, relentlessly noisy children) and took his hose with him. There is a hose in the back, but it must be about 300 feet long; I once tried to follow it from the faucet to the other end, but it is buried very deeply in the wilds of the thorny spider farm that we call the back yard, so I gave up. This means that in every pee incident (or in one extra special occasion on Christmas Eve eve, vomit) I am obliged to employ the bucket and broom method (actually, I don't have a bucket, so I go up to the kitchen, empty out my recycling bin, fill it with water from the back stair spigot and return to the grisly sidewalk and makeshift my way to a cleaner tomorrow). I should note that there is a mystery broom in the alley that I use for these bio-hazard jobs; my blue-handled broom undertakes the more dignified sweeping tasks for which it was raised.
All this has changed. "Why?: you ask, "Have the men of San Francisco suddenly decided to comport themselves in a civilized manner?" Well, no. Would that it were so. Instead, I have been presented with a hose by my thoughtful Home-Depot-frequenting friend. And it works too. I happen to know because, returning home very drowsily about midnight on Sunday, I pulled into the driveway only to have the beam of my headlights illuminate a glistening fresh swath of newly voided urine. I'll bet the hose would work on the actual pee-perpetrator too, but I've never caught one in the act.
I suppose that people's homes are peed upon in the country, as well, but presumably by woodland creatures or livestock, which seems, if not actually appealing, at least more forgivable. I think that when I opted for city life, I was hoping for urbane more than merely urban. Alas, what a difference an e makes.