It turns out that writing can be therapeutic; it can also bring back all kinds of weird memories and thoughts that you never even knew you had. Did you know that I have feelings? Because I didn’t! I mean, I knew I had them in there somewhere, but I had written them off years ago like I did with dreams. As it stands, I remember about one dream every 2-3 years. Part of me attributes this to my life being so ridiculous that dreaming couldn’t possibly faze the rest of my brain, so I just tune them out entirely. I remember feelings existing far more frequently, but they only ever seem to lead me straight to disaster. Memories, however, are another story. I never quite realized how much of my randomly chaotic life would come blurting out once I started writing things down. It often starts with me writing about something like traveling in Mississippi and somehow leads to me remembering an awkward story from my youth. Like now.
In 1991, I was in 4th grade. I was going to State Road Elementary School in Ashtabula, Ohio. Everyday for lunch, I would have a peanut butter sandwich without jelly, because, as I would later find out, I have a strange eating condition that extremely hinders my ability to try new foods. After lunch, the 4th through 6th graders would all go outside for recess. Normally, it involved playing kickball, climbing on some strange geodesic shape, or repeatedly going down the large yellow twisty slide that smelled faintly like urine.
On this particular day, I remember wandering around aimlessly for about the first five minutes of recess before I noticed my stomach was starting to knot up and I absolutely had to go to the restroom. In my school, you had to get permission to leave the recess area, so I started off by frantically searching the kickball field for an adult to no avail. The weird dome and slide areas both resulted in a similar situation, where there was no adult to be found. By this point in time I had to slow my pace, because I could feel it turtling. I walked back towards the school, and permission or not, I was going to use the restroom.
Back then, I still wore tight, white underwear (better known as “tighty-whities”), and I remember how terrified I was that they would end up with skid marks (what my mother and probably all mothers call questionable stains in your underwear). By this time, I was fairly certain that it might be far more than just a skid mark that my mother would be cleaning from this particular pair of underwear. I was fully convinced that I was about to shit myself. I distinctly remember reaching my hand down my khaki colored pants and moving aside the part of underwear directly in front of my butthole just to be on the safe side; clearly not thinking at all about the consequences of shitting my pants rather than just shitting my shorts. Thankfully, the next time it started turtling, I tightened up so much that it decapitated the turtle and a little turdlet happened to jailbreak itself from my body, escape down my pant leg and be kicked out the bottom. This relieved the pressure enough for me to make it the rest of the way to the bathroom. I checked myself out after I was finished, and couldn’t find any evidence. I felt as if I had just committed the perfect crime!
I think this might have been the point in my life where I realized authority figures are never available when needed, and are often only around to keep you down.