The Perils Of Pooping In Public

Flickr /// Emilian Robert Vicol
Flickr /// Emilian Robert Vicol

You’re sitting at your desk, drinking stale office coffee in hopes that its magical juices will be that extra figurative push that saves you a literal push. You think back to the past two mornings when your commute was interrupted by intense stomach cramps and the smell of a man’s half-smoked cigarette. (He was saving it for later.)

Glug, glug, glug. Down the hatch. You cough on the cinnamon that you so zealously added to your cup of joe and the sudden spasm of cough-related muscles sends a low, seductive—yet urgent—message to your colon:

“It’s time.”

You get up and speed walk to the PUBLIC women’s restroom that EVERYONE IN THE OFFICE USES. Heel-toe, heel-toe, smile at the associate partner walking by, heel-toe, heel-toe. You make it to the bathroom: New Location Acquired.

Next comes the ongoing struggle—which stall to choose? Stalls 2 and 6 are occupied but handicap stall number 7 is calling your name. If worse comes to worst, Stall Lady 6 is also finding relief and you can race to the finish.

You sit on your throne and get comfortable but remain alert—you must be ready to flush at a moment’s notice.

Something is not right. You knew this would be a doozy but not an ordeal. The doctors told you that the Tylenol + codeine they prescribed you after your surgery would make this difficult but you only took one and that was four days ago! Sure, you’ve been eating more vegetables lately but what 22 year old post-New Years isn’t eating better? What’s the dealio?

Relax, relax, relax. Squeeze, push, pull, NO NO DON’T PULL, NO!


You’re as plugged up as Chewbacca’s shower drain. You breathe in. You squeeze, you nudge, you pinch, you squeeze again but it is to no avail. This is your worst public restroom nightmare; smelled but not seen. There is nothing to flush, nothing to escape. High heeled women click-clack in and out of the restroom while your discounted Marshalls boots hover six inches off the floor, desperate to hide your identity as people inevitably try to see if they can recognize the shoes of the person emitting the noxious gas that is slowly replacing all the oxygen in the building.

After enough muscle manipulation, a small piece escapes but you feel absolutely no relief. What are you doing wrong? This used to be something you were so good at. Maybe you really can’t have it all.

You won’t be able to bill this time so you decide to risk it, to risk the hemorrhoid. It’s time to commit. It’s time to really push.

You push with all your might and your vision blurs for 3-5 seconds. It’s happening. You see your future flash before your eyes. Images of high cholesterol, gray hairs and a failed NSYNC reunion tour flood your mind. You stop breathing for a split second then let out a giant gasp, simultaneously releasing the monster dump you’ve been in combat with for the past 15 minutes. Your legs shake, your eyes roll into the back of your head and you succumb to all the feels.

You black out for a minute and return to a messy, smelly reality. Oh sweet lord. How did your body contain all of that? How long was that in there? Oh my god…there’s more.

You are a freak of nature. Flush, you disgusting freak! You’re out of breath. Your body has gone limp. You muster up the energy to take care of the rest of your business, panting and shaking your head with disappointment and disgust—the kind of disappointment and disgust your mom had when you got your septum pierced (but with fewer tears).

You feel as though you have lost three pounds, which is great news for the imaginary beach vacation you can’t afford and are never going to take. You wash up and return to work a changed woman.

Four hours later your butthole is still sore. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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