He was walking along the sidewalk, enjoying the light breeze and people watching. He always enjoyed downtown excursions. There was something like being ensconced in a cocoon of concrete and glass. And the ladies that hurried down the sidewalks chatting into phones while he happily enjoyed the toned calves above the impossibly high heels that clicked. He was practically Pavlovian at the sound of them on the sidewalk. It was a damn fine Friday. The world was a blanket of sublime joy wrapped around him.
Then it hit. His stomach turned into a cement mixer with an off center load tumbling against his intestines. It was sudden. An immediate visceral need filled his every cell as his guts bunched into a knot of spasming liquid fire.
Panic flared. His eyes grew wide. He darted into the glass doors of the first building he could. He did a funky speed walk of knocked knees and urgent clenching as the summit of the volcano began to bubble and boil. He darted down the faux marble hall in search of sweet relief. Then he saw it, the men’s room right ahead. He charged it, a bull enticed by the red cape flaring across the battlefield.
Locked. Keypad. Occupants only.
He could feel the timer ticking down as he burst out the doors to the street. A light sheen of sweat across his forehead. A ring of fire flaring in his nethers. Then he saw it. Mecca. Paradise. Heaven. The bright blue molded plastic of a port a potty sitting just inside the fenced off construction site across the street. The feeling of joy at the sight loosened the iron bands he had self imposed upon himself. A dangerous gambit. Then he shuffle ran across the street. A blaring horn and skidding brakes as he was nearly flattened. He barely noticed. He held up a hand in apology.
A near stumble as he stepped up the curb. Then a soaked foot as he hit the giant mud puddle made from the large trucks pulling in and out. Part of his mind registered the now soaked foot, but it was tertiary at best. A minor discomfort compared to what was about to befall if he didn’t make it. Intense pain nearly doubled him over as held the pressure well past the point of bursting. He nearly ripped the door off the hinges. Ignored the flare of hot fetid wind that sought to knock him over. The struggle against belt and button seemed to take on a biblical tint. Then he closed his eyes to keep the stains from his mind as he turned and sat at the geyser exploded.
He closed his eyes tight against the errant spray. The sound of his heartbeat in his head overwhelming the squelching noises. It was an orchestra of diarrheal disharmonics launched into the sunny afternoon. A chorus of asthmatic angels singing. Just loud enough that the beeping of the backing up truck became an undercurrent to the storm.
With hands clenched on trembling knees he sat in the malarial plastic tub. Then the beeping permeated his animal brain. Louder and louder it grew as it came through the fly infested vents above his now soaked forehead. Loud enough he felt fear. He tried yelling but it was drowned out by the cacophony of tools and vehicles. Then his world tipped onto it’s side as the truck backed slightly too far.
He will never forget that moment. As he remained sitting yet fell backwards. And the tsunami that seemed to defy gravity for a few horrific moments. He fought the slick that threatened to drown him, much like the turtle on it’s back at the beginning of Grapes of Wrath. Then he burst from the overturned blue casket like a poor soul buried alive clawing their way to the surface.
Head hung low as he made the walk of shame down the crowded sidewalk back to his car. His shoes squeaking as filthy water marked his trail. He imagined this was as close to polar opposite as you could be from the beginning of an all American classic. Drenched in waste from a thousand angry construction workers puckered rectums.