I write inspirational stories, but sometimes I don’t. This is an old one. I rewrote it today. Many can relate to this one … it’s just a fun one.
Everyone has to do it. It’s a part of life, but not always a part of life we have the most control over. It’s caused me some discomfort a few times.
Normally, I’m regular—a morning person—but not always. One morning, I didn’t feel the need to go, so I grabbed my lunch, threw on my coat, and headed out the door for work. I slipped the key into the keyhole, felt a twinge in my stomach, and shrugged.
I’ll be okay until I get to work, I thought.
Ten miles into my twenty-mile commute, the twinge was a full-blown cramp. I held the steering wheel with one hand and my stomach with the other. Every few minutes a wave of pain crossed my abdomen. I drove faster, cursed my stupidity, and prayed I wasn’t stopped for speeding.
I reached the city. Traffic was light—a small miracle. I got through the last light, pulled to the curb in one of the only free parking areas I knew of, and sighed. Relief was only a half mile walk away. Sweat beaded on my forehead. “You can make it!” I promised the white face that stared back at me from the rearview mirror.
I stepped from the car. The winter air chilled the sweat on my brow. It was strangely comforting, like a nurse with a cold compress whispering, “You’re going to be okay, Mr. Smith.”
Two hundred feet into my journey from hell, I realized I’d left my lunch back in the car. There was no turning back. If I had time, I’d go back for it later. There was something more important to attend to that day.
I crossed an intersection walking like an old man on his last legs. It was a downhill walk from there, and only two more streets to cross. Actually, I was wrong on that point. It wasn’t a walk. It was a waddle. A man can’t walk with dignity while holding his rear cheeks clenched with every once of power he has.
The second intersection was crossed—one block and another light to go. I got halfway there. A spasm of pain stopped me in my tracks. A woman walked into my almost volcanic rear. She gave me an evil look, and went on her way. I stood in one spot, took deep breaths, and prayed for control.
The pain eased. I tried a step, felt my cheeks separate—an oozing—stopped, and clinched tighter. My breath came in gasps. Baby steps, Mike. You can do this!
Running was not an option. I’d lose focus of an important function if I did. Bent like a man of ninety, I tiptoed down the hill.
The door to my office building was in sight, but it may as well have been a mile. I thought of the games we played at school picnics as a kid. We held spoons full of water and moved as fast as possible to a cup. If you went too fast, you spilled water, and your cup took forever to fill. I held a full spoon that morning.
I reached the last intersection. The light took forever to turn green, before I could cross. I climbed the steps. The door to the building was in my hand. It swung open with a bang—I had pulled too hard.
There was only a few hundred feet to safety—down the hall, turn right, bathroom on the left. I was almost on my knees with pain. One hand held my stomach and the other touched the wall for support.
I turned the corner. The door with the symbol of a man on it was in view.
It was then I realized that a daddy does have eyes in the back, but not in the back of his head. My rear end saw that door too. With the door in sight, it began to relax. I felt the first bit of relief too soon. That was when I ran. I pushed through the outer door, slammed through the inner one, hit the stall door like a linebacker, while unbuckling my belt and dropping my pants. Before my bottom even hit the seat, there was a bark, and the splash of water meeting me on the way down.
That’s it? I asked myself. I almost died for that?
The sweat wasn’t dry on my face yet, when the door to the bathroom banged against the wall again. I heard a man panting as he hit the stall door next to mine. I saw his pants around his ankles before the door slammed shut, and I heard the bark of relief again.
I would normally be disgusted, but like him, I had tempted fate. I realized … I’m just a regular guy.