I CAN'T KEEP A SECRET
I can't keep a secret. I just can't. If you need to get something off your chest, you really should pick someone else to confide in. I have a very strict sharing policy. You share with me and I share with everyone else. I tell. I can't help myself. I like to talk. I love gossip. It's fun. I know that sounds terrible but I have the same policy for myself. When something really terrible or embarrassing happens to me? I can't keep it a secret. I try, but I always end up sharing.
A couple of years ago after a particularly harrowing night of listening to show tunes and trying to drink all the vodka in Boystown I woke up with what can only be described as the Katrina of hangovers. Moving made me nauseous. The light hurt my eyes. Breathing took great focus. It was awful. I sat there in my bed, wide-awake at 9am knee-deep in a shame spiral waiting to die.
After a few hours of analyzing the merits of singing Wicked at the top of my lungs in a room full of strangers I decided that I had to get myself together. Of course the best thing for me to do was to take a bath, put on my cutest outfit and march myself down to the nearest Thai restaurant for lunch. Yes, I had what I like to call a Lindsay Lohan moment. I couldn’t let a couple of vodka tonics ruin my life. I had to rise above my liquor soaked night I had to triumph over my self-inflicted adversity.
So…I scalded myself in the tub in order to sweat the toxins out, I put on my Hillary Clinton for President t-shirt, my cutest jeans, the biggest sunglasses that I could find and one of those newsboy caps tilted jauntily to the side and off I went. Sure, the nearest Thai restaurant was a couple miles from my house but nothing could stop my determination. I decided that walking two miles for lunch on a hot and humid summer day would be both my punishment and my cure.
I made it about two blocks before I began to pray for my life. Apparently 5 hours of sleep after drinking all the vodka isn’t a recipe for health. I was sweating like Mel Gibson at Bat Mitzvah I was dizzy, shaky. I was a goddamned mess. A mess who was determined to have a Thai lunch with himself. I took a little break from my marathon to re-hydrate with the biggest Diet Coke that I could find and continued on my way.
AND…I made it. I finally made it and without passing out, I might add. It took me 45 minutes and enough prayers to raise the dead, but I made it. I walked in to my local Thai restaurant all sweaty and smelling like a liquor cabinet. It was clear though, that I was on a serious mission. I drank an entire carafe of water and ordered Pad Thai with chicken before I sat down.
As in most Thai restaurants the food took about 3 minutes. You’d think with how horrible I felt I wouldn’t be able to eat. I was eating like it was my job, like a starving animal. The food was amazing, maybe the best Pad Thai that I’ve ever tasted. I wanted to roll around in the bowl, I wanted to wear it, it was that good. The only issue, the only thing wrong was that the Thai was super spicy. The spice combined with my hangover meant that I was drinking carafe after carafe of water. I’m sure that I had 400 carafes of water before I finished my meal. My server must have thought I was nuts. He’d look in the direction of my Lindsay Lohan disguise and I’d order another carafe of water.
As I got up to leave the restaurant, I thought to myself that I should maybe take a little trip to the bathroom. I mean at this point I’d had 400 carafes of water and a liter of Diet Coke. Surely I needed to pee before I journeyed home? Surely? I talked myself out of it. I figured that after my hangover brunch I’d move a lot quicker and if I needed to use the bathroom I could make it back to my house. I mean, what am I 60?
So I sauntered out of my neighborhood Thai restaurant feeling refreshed and alive. Everything was much better on the way back. I was planning my chores for the rest of the day. I’d do laundry and clean my house. I’d turn this really awful day around.
Then. It happened.
I was about half way between the restaurant and home. And a pain that I cannot describe. A pain that I had never felt before or since ripped through my stomach. I froze. I just stood there on the sidewalk waiting for the pain to pass. It did. I took a deep breath and continued on my way. I didn’t think anything of it. I mean I had been through a lot, the drinking, the not sleeping, the spicy Thai, all that water. My body was in shock. Big deal.
It happened again. It was like an after shock. I doubled over. This time? This time I realize what’s happening. I realize that I am going to shit. RIGHT NOW.
Now, keep in mind that I’m standing in the middle of a very busy sidewalk. I’m not standing in the middle of my bedroom. I’m not hidden away in some bathroom stall somewhere. I’m in public. It’s noon on a Tuesday. I’m surrounded. People are everywhere.
Things get serious very fast. I go into Panic Mode. I’m panicked and frazzled trying to figure out what to do on the inside while smiling and pretending that I’m fine on the outside. I must have looked like a maniac. I was pacing back and forth, but in place. I was trapped inside my body. I can’t be the 30-year-old man standing on a sidewalk in Rogers Park about to shit his pants. This cannot be me. This is not my life.
Meanwhile? It’s at the door. Yeah. The poop is making its way through my body. I can literally feel that it is millimeters away from flying out of my ass and I have no idea what to do.
But I am squeezing. Oh yes. I am squeezing my little heart out. I am squeezing my ass so tight to keep from pooping my pants that I’m on my tiptoes. I refuse to be humiliated. I will not let this happen. All the while I’m frozen in place on the sidewalk. I’m looking around for what to do. There’s no Barnes and Noble. There’s no McDonald's. There’s no tree to hide behind. I’ve got no options.
So I start walking. Slowly. Very. Very Slowly. Very, very carefully. I look like I have a stick up my ass…even more than usual. I’m pinching and holding and squeezing. The pressure is getting to be more than I can stand. I’m fighting back what feels like an atomic bomb. I’m barely breathing.
The whole situation gets to be too much to deal with pretty quickly. I make it about a block before I convince myself that I’m just having some really nasty gas. Maybe if I relax enough to fart everything will be fine. So I stop walking. I stop squeezing quite so hard, which means I’m back down off my tiptoes.
I take a little breath.
I have that moment that we’ve all had. The moment where you relax and give a little push to your gas only to realize that it isn’t gas at all. I’m talking about the shart. But this? This is a super shart. The king of all sharts.
The moment that I let my guard down an uncontrollable and literal shit storm begins to fly out of me. I freeze. Then I run to the nearest bench to sit down as if that’s somehow going to help my situation. I’m almost down on the bench when I realize that I can’t sit in my own feces. I quickly stand up. Shadoobie is pouring out of me. I’m like the Niagara Falls of poo. I’m trapped. I decide to surrender. I can’t really fight back anyhow. I just stand there on the busy sidewalk and take it like a man. People are walking by living their lives and I’m standing there pooping my pants.
The shit, MY shit has filled up my cute little bikini briefs and is now starting to run down my legs. So. Much. Poo. Who shits this much? It was awful. It was like I had eaten all the food. This is it. I am completely broken. This is the bottom. I am in Hell. Well, I think that I am in Hell. That is until I look down at my feet and realize what shoes I’m wearing. You guys! I was wearing flip-flops. As if dropping a deuce in your pants isn’t enough…pretty soon…I’m standing in my own crap on a crowded street. I quickly lean down in my squishy pants and tight roll my jeans. I had to stop the flood somehow. I made myself a promise that if I got home alive I would never tell anyone about this day.
Again, I pictured Lindsey Lohan. All those times that she got out of Limos showing off her little lady parts. She wasn’t ashamed. The girlfriend, the drugs, the rehab, the ugly cries, the return to rehab, Liz and Dick, jail. None of it could hold her back. I stood there and I asked myself. What would Lindsey do? So? I shook the poop off of my flip-flops, I double checked to make sure that my tight rolled pants were secure, I made sure my sunglasses were on straight, pulled my hat down low and marched my happy ass home.
What do you think was the first thing I did when I got home? Nope, I didn’t take a shower right away. True to my gossipy nature I stood there in my heavy pants and called everybody I know. GIRL! YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE WHAT JUST DID!