It is 3:30 in the afternoon. I am late to pick up Eli from the bus stop and I am literally standing ankle deep in sewage in my bathroom. The toilet continues to vomit out shit like it’s a prop in some kind of horror film and my husband is too busy to come to the phone and tell me how the hell to turn off the water flow so I can stop the excrement from flooding the rest of my house.
Have you ever had one of those moments where you think, “Wow, this is just not how I expected my life to look?” I finally figure out that by pulling the small white handle thingy behind the toilet you can shut off the water flow. But this does nothing to lessen the reality that I am out of towels, covered in shit and watching the steady stream of sewage seep ever closer to my beautiful wood-planked bedroom floors. HELP!!!
I am thoroughly disgusted. Shit is just something that’s hard to move beyond. We talk about life being “shit,” of “shit” storms, crocks of “shit,” holy “shit,” “shit” for brains. It’s like we’re a nation obsessed with “shit.” People wear “shit-eating” grins, they get scared “shitless,” they pontificate about bears “shitting” in the woods. Our culture is full of “shit!” Maybe there’s a metaphor here for me to learn from, a symbolic rationale for why I am mired down in “shit” in the middle of the desert when it’s 113 degrees and there’s no sign of it ever cooling off again, EVER!
We watched this movie the other night on Netflix about a guy who was being tracked by a vicious killer and his dog. The guy was hiding in an out house and the only way to escape capture and death was to climb into the toilet and plunge himself into the sea of waste beneath the house. He immersed himself completely and was able to breathe using an empty toilet paper roll. “Do you think you could ever do that?” I’d asked my husband. “Of course,” He said, “If my life depended on it.”
“I’m not sure I could,” I had proffered. “Even to save my life.” I guess this is my punishment for not recognizing the value of life as compared to a minor bout of revulsion.
Oh well, they say shit happens for a reason. Let’s hope it’s a good one.