Sunday, May 25, 2008

Poop Water

I woke up at 10:30 am and calculated the hours before I had to leave for work. Pete had just fallen into bed three hours prior after his overnight shift. I kissed him lightly and scooted out of bed. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and went to the bathroom.

The last part of this daily routine, however, turned out to be a colossal mistake. Because if you ever have spicy chili for dinner, you can pretty much bank on the fact that the toilet is not going to work in the morning. If you also ate the greasy appetizer, you should probably just find an outhouse or secluded bush. Which is exactly what I wished I had done as I inspected the toilet tank and began plunging a swamp of dirty poop water.

After about ten minutes of plunging and pulling on ever lever in the tank, it became pretty apparent that I wasn't getting anywhere. So I took a break and checked my email. Around 11:00 I went back into the bathroom, secretly hoping that poo fairies would have snuck in and taken care of it for me. Instead, I realized that the toilet bowl was slowly filling with more water. I plunged it down to a safe level, trying to use my peripheral vision to make sure that I was plunging accurately. I nearly barfed at the site of my own crap. 20 minutes later, I was angry.

"What's wrong with the bathroom door?" Pete asked.

"I slammed it," I said. "That's what's wrong with the door." I didn't care how juvenile I was being.

"Why would you slam the door?"

"Because I've spent half my freaking morning trying to get the freaking toilet to flush, and it's disgusting and I can't do it, and I need help." I plopped on the bed with childish dramatics. Then I followed him to the bathroom.

"Okay," I said, "but can you fix it without looking in the toilet bowl? Just, you know, lift up the tank lid and figure out what's wrong."He looked at me a little sideways. "Joy, why does it matter if I look in the toilet bowl? It's just poop. Do you think your poop is more gross than my poop?"

"Yes. I do."

He was being extremely patient. "Well, I want to help you, but eventually I'm going to have to look to make sure it's not overflowing."

Very suddenly, my face contourted and I started to cry. I cried big, loud sobs. I cried hiccups, gurgles, and spilling tears. "It's just so gross, and I don't want you to see it. I need you to fix it but I don't want you to see it. It's disgusting, nasty poop water and it's probably more gross than anything that has ever come out of you."

"Are you really crying because you don't want me to see your poop water?" he asked. I nodded yes, and he pulled me into a hug. Then he started laughing. He laughed big belly laughs... rolling and overflowing laughs. This made me sob even harder, so we stood together in the stinky bathroom, him laughing and me crying, and meanwhile the basin continued to fill up little by little. He took the tank lid off and began filling it with a lot more water than I had thought necessary. Then he pressed the flusher and lifted the lid to the toilet bowl. He saw me cringe and said, "Joy, it looks just like my poop water." The swamp began to swirl, and then it dissapreared. I can't imagine a dessert wanderer would breathe a deeper sigh of relief than I did at the sight of clean water. It gurgled up triumphantly and settled in the bowl

Sometimes I need someone to help me with my shit, but don't want them to actually look at my shit. It doesn't really work that way. What I need is for someone else to open the toilet bowl and then hold me.

"Your humantiy looks just like my humanity," I need to hear. "And I can help you.".

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

License and Registration, Please

I've been driving a car with expired registration for nearly two years now, and let me tell you that life as a fugitive has been rough. In the past when I saw a police officer in my rear view mirror I would simply check my speed and remind myself to keep a special eye out for stop signs and school buses. (Because, of course, the only time you don't notice the big yellow bus in front of you is when there is a police car behind you). But now that I've had this neon-reflective sticker on my license plate with the numbers "06" irrefutably printed, everything is completely out of my control.

I know it doesn't have to be like this. At least, I know this at a cognitive level. But between my out-of-state move, the missing title and registration to my car (as well as my missing birth certificate, passport, marriage license, and every other documentation proving that I am alive), I have started to lose hope of this process ever resulting in current license plates. Probably it will end when the government finds out that I don't exist, and they put me in exile or something, after I file my taxes, of course.

The bright side is that I have become an immaculate driver through this experience. This is because I treat every vehicle as though it were an unmarked police car, even the mini-vans with hand smears on the windows. All that this has really done is piss off the people behind me as I drive precisely one mile under the speed limit at all times. But the hand-smeared mini-vans have had no reason to pull me over and smack me with a ticket for expired plates, that's for darn sure.

My husband has joined me in my life of crime; his plates expired just a couple months after mine. I suppose some couples have worked out who the responsible one is going to be, but we're still battling it out to see who will cave. He did get pulled over the other day. I was in the car with him. When the lights starting swirling and he pulled over into a lot, I patted him on the knee and said, "I'm right here, honey." What I was really thinking was, Thank God we took his car, because he is going DOWN. In the end, the officer gave him a Promise to Comply, which is just like a Super Duper Promise with a dotted like to sign on. He'll probably get his plates taken care of, and I'll be forced to continue my unlawful ways alone.

Irregular Postings

Maybe now I'll get on the ball. I just read my comments from my Anne posting two months ago and realized I missed out on $90 tickets and an excuse to go to Prince Edward Island. I didn't think anyone read my blog, and come to find out that the production peeps from Anne and Gilbert the musical did.

I think one post a week sounds manageable. You can count on it. (I'm talking to you, Samantha, you encouraging and pesty woman, you!)

Suave and Death

As far as shampoo goes, I usually buy knock-off brands or Suave, which is basically a branded knock-off brand. (As an aside, it bothers me that Suave now has commercials, because I imagine they hiked the price a couple cents without my noticing for their new marketing campaign.) A couple months ago I was browsing the hair care aisle and I decided, against all of my childhood training, to treat myself with a pricey salon brand. I would use it only once a week, I decided. I chose Mondays, because it feels nice to start the week off clean and pretty. Suave and I would maintain our routine the other six days.

So every Monday around 6:00 am, I would rub approximately 25 cents worth of shampoo into my scalp, which really is a lot if you think about the people living for less than a dollar a day. And since I stayed faithful to my rationing schedule, the bottle seemed to last a long, long time. The line of liquid didn't seem to be diminishing at all. In fact, I started to think that it was like the endless bottle of oil that Elijah gave the widow; in a way I actually accepted this could be true.

But a couple weeks ago I noticed that the bottle was getting lighter. And then very suddenly, it was empty. I shook the bottle upside down and bewilderedly poured the last bit of expensive-smelling potion onto my palm. It was as I tossed the empty bottle onto the bathmat that I came to a new conclusion within myself:

Someday, I am going to die.

The eternal bottle of oil is my soul; as it says in Psalms, eternity is written on my heart. But on this earth, my Mondays are numbered just as finitely as my shampoo.