I was having a pretty shitty week last week. Nothing serious––I was mostly battling inconsequential White People Problems like the barista messing up my order, or my American Apparel t-shirts coming out of the laundry wrinkled. However, enough little things had piled up to put me in a funk, and by Tuesday night I'd had enough. I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.
Determined to pull myself out of my gloomy mood, I marched along through the night, a bogus smiled plastered across my face...
...completely oblivious of the shovel in my path.
Yeah, right in the crotch.
I wasn't aware stuff like that happened in real life without the involvement of Bob Saget and a live studio audience, but apparently the world is full of shovels just lying in wait for an unassuming groin to brutally attack. Nobody is safe. Nobody.
I hobbled home, tears welling up in my eyes, loins throbbing with pain, and spent the rest of the night with a bag of frozen vegetables on my lap.
In the morning, things hadn't improved. As a matter of fact, they'd gotten worse. Upon awaking I was horrified to discover that one of the ol' family jewels had swelled to an alarming size after taking the brunt of the evil shovel's assault. Now, it's always been my intention to keep this blog family friendly (well, sort of) so I hope this visual allusion will suffice in lieu of an actual drawing of my damaged genitals:
I imagine this would have been the final straw, sending me into a month-long misery spiral of Cool Ranch Doritos and Fiona Apple music, if not for my infallible optimism––an optimism which is tied solely to a story my friend told me once, a story she divulged in utter confidence. A story recited in hushed verse, so sorrowful it seemed to take on the delicate beauty of prayer. A story I promised never to tell.
(Did I mention I'm a terrible confidante?)
My friend––let's call her Jessica, to protect her identity––was fast asleep one night next to her boyfriend, dreaming peacefully of horses or Jimmy Choos or whatever it is girls dream about, not a care in her pretty little head...
...when suddenly, she awoke, blood running cold as ice.
She had shit her pants in her sleep.
Now, I've spent many hours trying to imagine what must run through your head upon realizing that you've literally shit the bed. I reckon it's a fear you can never recover from. Marie Curie once said "Nothing in life is to be feared." Marie Curie obviously never shit her fucking panties in her sleep.
Luckily, my friend was indeed wearing underwear, and everything was mercifully contained. With her boyfriend sleeping soundly, she leapt into action.
Flinging herself from the bed, she bolted to the bathroom where she hurriedly disposed of her undergarments and cleaned herself off.
I can only imagine what she must have felt then, huddled in a ball on the shower floor, knowing that no matter how long she let the scalding water wash over her, she'd never truly be clean again.
Jessica's is the voice that drifts through my head whenever my life is looking grim. There are times when my checking account is overdrawn, or when I screw up files at work, or when I'm afraid someone might finally discover the body of that hooker I buried in Washington Park, but I always stop and remind myself that things could be worse. Perhaps I have a limited scope of the world if the worst thing I can imagine is sleep-pooping, but it's what works for me. It's my way of telling myself that everything will be OK.