Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Like an 80 year old who forgot his nightime diaper

This morning at about 3:15 I realized that my thighs were covered in shit. This is not something that generally escapes one's notice, I know. Your thighs may be covered in shit or they may not be covered in shit, but generally speaking you are aware which is the case. I'm not entirely sure how this turn of events came to pass, but I assume that during my sickly dozing at some point I either went to the toilet and delivered a loose load into the bowl and forgot to wipe or I was lying in bed and delivered what I thought was a fart but what actually was not. Soft shit has a way of sneaking up on you like that, being body temperature and all. Now I'm not one to be particularly squeamish around my own bodily secretions, shit is, after all, just delicious food you ingested with some of the ingredients removed by your body and a bunch of bacteria that can be found inside your intestines inserted, but the scent of this particularly secretion was particularly noxious to the point of being intolerable. Reluctantly I abandoned my half-hearted attempts to actually get a little bit of sleep and stumbled towards the bathroom, my hand covered in brown slop from reaching between my legs to investigate the cause of the odor. I'm not sure what I expected to find there except a smear of shit, it's not like I was going to pull a bouquet of foul-smelling orchids from between my thighs, but I was dozing and woozy so I didn't stop and think before reaching down.

So I was standing there in the bathroom, shit from my knees to my scrotum between my legs, shit on my hand, and unpleasantness throughout my body. I washed my hand off on the sink, and started the task of wiping up the crap between my legs, which soon made the act of washing the hands completely pointless since no toilet paper has ever been made that can handle crap of that particularly consistency. It took almost half a roll to clean it all up and as I was washing my hands for the second time I thought about showering but decided against it since I was basically clean at this point and still dozy enough to give a shot at getting some more sleep. Even if I was going to be up for awhile (which I was) I didn't want the alertness and hassle of getting wet. I just wet down a bit of TP, put some soap on it, scrubbed the affected areas once more, and threw it in the toilet.

Why am I relating this tale? Partially because the fact that I shit on myself and didn't really care about it helps reveal something about my character. Partially as a grim reminder that no matter how introspective or high-minded you try to be eventually you are going to have to end up wiping your shit off your legs, or even worse demanding that someone else do the same.

Mostly I wanted to continue my willingness to talk about distasteful topics and to make a brief comment on the nature of relationships. What does the self-soiling of a lonely and perpetually single young man have to do with relationships? Just that I think that shitting yourself is one of those experiences that is radically affected by whether or not there is somebody else in the room with you. Think about the same situation if you have a wife. Now you've not just shit on yourself but you've shit in her bed. If you're pinned in towards the wall in the bed then you're going to have a very complicated situation getting out of bed. You'd have to wake her by yelling or kicking, since she's not going to appreciate a shit covered hand on the shoulder. If your relationship is strong you'll be able to laugh about it and produce intimacy. If the relationship is weak then you will face wrath and disgust. In other words what would normally just be a bad smell and a change of bedsheets has become a test of your relationship and a prime opportunity for rejection. This is even more true in a relatively new relationship where you don't have a long pattern of being a well-mannered and clean person to draw upon nor the same reservoir of love. That's one reason to consider not sleeping with someone right off the bat. It'd make a faulty sphincter into a potentially quite traumatic experience.

On the other hand, there's something disquieting about being alone in that kind of situation. It's a firm reminder of the necessity of self-reliance when you don't have a partner. You don't have someone to make ironic or sarcastic or supportive comments with. You don't have a reason to clean yourself thoroughly and go right back to bed. All you have is yourself and the bathroom under fluorescent lights hand a handful of shit. It's a lonely tableau. You tend to look 50 years down the road and see yourself at 72 cleaning shit from the same hand alone at 3 AM only with a lot more frequency. Or even worse being in a nursing home and having a stranger do it. A stranger to whom it's not even an odd or unsettling experience. A stranger who's cleaned up so much shit off elderly thighs and hands that she won't even remember it a few days later. You'll be part of an anonymous cadre of people who shit themselves and ask her to clean it up.

Maybe that's the difference between a good relationship and a bad one. A good one gives you someone to be incontinent with and turn a river of stench into something funny and intimate. A bad one shits all over you after you shit all over yourself. That's a stink that you'll never be able to wash away.
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