September 15th, 2021
I had to walk to school, and home from school, throughout elementary school and high school (and quite a few middle school days, too).
On crisp, awakening fall days, like today, or breezy, renewing spring days, those walks contain some of my favorite memories, the kind they try to recreate in movies that try to recreate our childhoods.
In winter, those walks were a brutal hell that I would wish upon no human, child or elder.
This is a story about one of those walks.
I won’t give away what I grade I was in, but I will say I was old enough to know better. School was over, it was cold outside, and I had to make a decision about whether to go to the bathroom before I left or not. I did the math in my head (though I was still in school, thus still learning what math was) and figured I would be home before there was any immediate danger.
Halfway home, I found myself dead wrong.
At this point, there is nothing I can do. I’m in the middle of town, there are no exits, there is no escape. So I just try to walk faster, which turned into a run, which turned into me shitting myself about four blocks before I got home.
Oh, I’m sorry, did you think this was a story in which I did not shit myself?
I walk the rest of the way home, literally covered in my own feces, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain any of this to the people who live inside — I was no longer referring to them as my “family” at this point, because they were most certainly disowning me after they found out what I had done.
Luckily (depending on how you define “luck”) no one was by the door when I entered, so I was able to run up the stairs and get to the bathroom, where I turned on the bath and just started scrubbing the heck out of every inch of my disgraceful body.
The door creaked. My mom popped in. Asked how my day went. She nodded and smiled and acted like I wasn’t completely covered in my own shit.
And that’s what this story is about.
If you’re covered in shit, surround yourself with people who love you so much that they don’t care that you’re literally covered in your own shit. And when the people you truly love are covered in their shit, you nod and you smile and you ask how their day was.
And if they love you back, they will start sobbing about how they shit themselves today and feel so much better that you still love them anyways.
At least, that’s what I did.