Written by: Mack Moyer
If you’re here, you love the horror genre. I sure do. Yet it’s rare for any tommyknocking cenobite or angry Slender-Person to actually give me the creeps.
The real world is far more terrifying. All those killer dolls and zombie hordes are relaxing in the face of, say, having the poop sweats at work.
But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Grocery Shopping Alone on a Sunday Morning – You wake up before sunrise feeling good, energized even, ready to get an early start on next week’s errands. You might even head to Planet Fitness for a run on the treadmill…because this time you’re going to stick with it.
Hopeful that today won’t be as crushingly depressing as the last, you drive to the grocery store.
Is the cute 18-year-old girl working the returns counter staring at you, wondering why you’re here this early, this alone on a Sunday morning?
Of course she is.
You head to the vegetable aisle first, as always. You pick up a bag of kale, because health reasons. But no one can possibly eat that much kale. It’ll only go bad. Maybe if you weren’t cooking for one every night…
You decide on microwavable dinners. Years of eating dollar-apiece Banquet microwavables will eventually kill you with high blood pressure, but you hope those twelve minutes of speed-walking at Planet Fitness each week will balance it out.
Then you realize you’re the youngest person here by forty years minimum, save for maybe the cashiers.
Everyone your age is asleep, hungover or just getting home from a long, happy Saturday night out with their friends. But not you. (“Never me,” you sob.) No, you’re here surrounded by geriatric almost-corpses.
It’s like looking into the future, right there, the eighty-year-old man in pajama pants and bathrobe, resigned to dying alone, but even he’s staring at you. Why are you pitying him? He killed six Vietcong Charlies with his bare hands then came home and drowned in hot hippie snatch.
He’s ready to choke on his own fluids at any moment, but he had something to do on Saturday night back in the day. Not you. (“Never me,” you sob.) Angry, you decide you’re not going to be alone any longer. Today you’re going to find the one.
Drinking (Alone) at a Bar Looking to get Laid – So you go to the bar. The first couple beers go down hard – they always do at noon on Sundays – but damn it they make you feel good.
First you send out a group text to a few of your buddies, because looking for the one is easier with your pals around. Most of them don’t respond – because it’s noon on a fucking Sunday – but you get a couple of lukewarm responses. “I’ll let you know,” they write back.
But that’s the last you hear from them.
Three beers later you do what you know you shouldn’t: You start texting female friends (even the chubby girl from work who gave you her number for totally platonic reasons – and you know that – but you send her a vaguely flirtatious text anyway).
You get a few “lols ur funny” responses, along with the dreaded “you’re like a brother to me” answer, but for the most part you hear nothing in return.
Tenth beer, three o’clock. Eventually you spot a fifty-year-old lady at the bar. Her teeth are brown and years of booze and menthols have given her face the texture of a baseball glove.
You buy her drinks for the next two hours, knowing that you shouldn’t want to see the sagging burger between her thighs but unable to stop yourself. You leave to take a piss but when you come back you find out she just left with her coke dealer.
It’s six o’clock now and the Bud Ice tallboys are on sale for happy hour. Soon well-adjusted people your age start coming in for the beloved Sunday Funday drinking session.
You hit on another girl, barely aware of her disgust because it’s six o’clock on a Sunday evening and you’re piss drunk. Yes, you’re that guy.
The soul-flattening realization hits you. You peel yourself away from the bar, stumbling home in the cold.
Checking Your Text Messages on the Morning-After – You wipe the crust out of your eyes the next morning, the hangover jackhammering in your skull. Your stomach feels like it’s full of sour milk.
You peer over the side of your bed and spot your cell phone on the floor. Lighting a cigarette that you can’t even puff on – the nicotine rush gives you the spins – you do the unthinkable: You look at your text messages.
It’s like staring into the thoughts of an alter-ego you didn’t know you had. Your very own Mr. Hyde, the part of you that drunkenly hits on coke whores and sends sexy text messages to girls you know don’t want to hook up with you but, alas, Mr. Hyde does it anyway.
Some guys send out drunken texts and get laid soon after. But not you. (“Never me,” you sob.)
“So lonely need cumpany,” you texted to the chubby girl from work, wondering in sheer horror if you honestly misspelled “company” or if you were trying some half-assed semeny pun.
The only horror worse than what you wrote are the responses, or lack thereof. The angry and/or confused rebukes by your female acquaintances are bad enough, but the non-responses are worse.
The next time you see these women, they won’t mention your drunken text messages and neither will you. They’ll be polite, though some may ignore you completely, you having reached full drunken creeper status, but they won’t say anything, which is always worse.
You shut your phone off wishing the night before had never happened and curl back under the covers, but not for long…
Driving to Work in Bad Weather – The sun isn’t up yet, the winter air is polar vortexing all over your car.
You notice a light drizzle creating a new sheen on the road. Had you not been a drunken, depressing fuck-up last night you might have checked the weather for this morning: Freezing rain, black ice, driving recommended only for the suicidal.
Now you’re careening across the highway toward your job. You notice the only other people on the road have a look of dogged determination on their faces.
That’s because they’re nurses, cops, doctors and firefighters. They have to go to work, they want to go to work because people’s lives and the very fabric of society count on them doing their jobs.
You? You’re death-sliding down the off-ramp to go stack boxes at Home Depot or punch numbers into a spreadsheet.
You can’t even light a smoke – perhaps the final smoke of your life – because the moment you look away from the road you might plaster yourself against the median. And if/when you do, you might not even be lucky enough to die.
Instead you’ll just wreck your car and have to figure out a way to get to your awful job fifteen miles away every morning.
But you make it anyway. You got there, somehow. Surely, it’s all over…
A Critical Mass Poo at Work – It starts as a rumble in your belly, followed by a strange hollow feeling in your gut. Then a drooping sensation right above your crotch. A heaviness.
Then rumbles get louder. The drooping sensation is followed by a lurch in your stomach just before the bubblies start.
The shits are here and you know it, coming off the perfect storm combination of the hangover dehydration and those Bud Ice tallboys you drank giving you that mythical, terrifying condition known to drunks worldwide as the Bud Mud.
You can’t leave your work area, oh no, your manager won’t have it. You suffer through the poop sweats – the final sign of critical mass – until you reach break.
You make it. We all fear the critical mass poo but we always make it. Yet you still feel like the only person on earth unlucky enough to suffer this. Only you. (“Always me,” you sob.)
The chubby female coworker who ignored Mr. Hyde’s text last night sits at the lunch table a mere ten feet away from the men’s room. You know she’s going to smell it but your poo aroma will join your unwanted sext message in the list of things she will never mention to you.
The toilet bowl is smeared with brown stains, easily washed away with an extra flush but not so for the
shit nibblits lining the rim just below the toilet seat, the remnants of wayward dingleberries.
Thankfully, jubilantly, you let loose. The relief is instant, but bittersweet. Despite your many courtesy flushes everyone in the break room smells your explosion, as well as hears it. The relief is fleeting, for moments later you realize you’re sitting atop a mountain of poop that, within minutes, everyone at work will know about.
Then your break is over. You didn’t have time to eat or catch a smoke, such was the length of your critical mass poo.
And just when you think it’s over, the second round arrives. But this time you’re prepared. You’re tough as nails, you’re a bad motherfucker, a conquering hero, albeit one suffering silently.
You’ve been through loneliness, drunken depression, stared down your rapistly awful alter ego, braved bad weather and won the battle against your bowels.
Nothing can scare you, nothing can touch you. I know these feelings well, friends. So will you.