Taking turns going, and being right back.
My excitement towards a chat diminished in correlation to the feeling of imminent gastric expulsion. Put simply, the more I had to “go,” the less I cared about what my chat partner — who while anonymous is a male friend to whom I, with weary vernacular, refer as “bro” — was typing. I pinched my butt cheeks and slanted awkwardly in my seat. He had been commenting on the Huevos Rancheros I just had for lunch, which may provide context to the digestive narrative herein. I kept imagining a long brown note stemming from my viscera, which I found narcissistically compelling, but mainly just nauseating. The sky did its thing on the window in my office, showing off the day I was missing. “Sweet,” I recall him typing. The lump in my bottom was now an irritable monster. Somewhat fickle, and almost resentfully, I typed:
me: going to poo, brb vs. ttyl
And just like that, the final “l” offered by my right pinky, I was down the hallway towards the personal and perennial altar of letting go. The truth was I should have just typed ttyl, as I really had no plans of returning to the chat, but the codependent part of me cared more about his comfort than my own. The brb offered hope, suggesting that my convictions were pending, perhaps contingent upon how said excavation went, in terms of one’s emotional countenance and capacity for subsequent discourse after such an intimate auto-experience. Yet it somehow felt rude, like my bro — this human being I had formed a relationship with over the years, whose paramount life experiences and tribulations were loyally transcribed and reciprocated in chat — simply could not withstand the match between himself and my daily crap. I should have held it in longer for him. For us.
The chat has relieved relationships of the ponderous email and formidable phone call. To employ such two archaic modes of communication somewhat feels rude, clingy even. The email lethargically resides in one’s inbox full of want, some bomb waiting to be clicked. The ever dreadful voice-mail threatens a cancer diagnosis; a long distance call from someone you thought you got ride of; your mother ebulliently going over the details of what your father just did wrong; or the birth of a someone’s child you will have to visit one day. These people actually called you wanting to talk. I usually just delete mine without listening, and find my life less stricken as a result. Glibly typed with errors and collapsed linguistics, the chat’s informal nature is its very beauty. It is unexpectedly the window to truth.
I always feel creepily excited returning to a chat after a crap. It seems like whatever enthralling topic we were on automatically transitions to the more exciting, and definitely relevant one: how it went. There lies a direct correlation between respect and one’s comfort in being explicit with their chat partner regarding said ritual. In the past, with my most trusted compatriots, I have vividly compared the length, girth (or lack thereof), and overall demeanor of my fecal goodbyes to a burrito, twizzler, eel, baby’s arm, Hershey’s kiss(es), chicken nugget(s), among other mostly food products. Jokes aside, I am finally letting them inside me. Their responses are varied in the same manner as their sense of humor, subversiveness, and dispositions are. I have gotten back everything from “sweet,” “damn,” “eww,” to their own elusive “brb.”
And so I wait, as they did, a few minutes, days, or weeks later, they too engaged in their imperative brown elegies. It seems, as the internet becomes a more and more hermetic experience to which we all succumb, that going to the bathroom may be the last thing we can’t do online. Perhaps this is God saying he’s still in control, that we are still liable to the flawed machinations of our squishy bodies, still leaking sacks of love and remorse. And so, we leave the icy glow of the screen’s addicted stare and quickly skip down the hall to the bathroom to do our business as the world we left behind seems to do its: refreshing, reblogging, reacting, relishing, relieving, reliving. On our ceramic crown we solemnly sit, with clenched sphincter and heart, hurriedly pushing the last part of us out, the part we don’t need anymore, so that we may return to the part of us we need the most.