(Disclaimer: if “bathroom” humor offends you, please stop reading here — and pass your computer to the nearest 10 year old.)
I’ve been working really hard lately. I’m not saying that to brag or to make it sound like others don’t work hard, but rather to indicate a sort of base line for what comes next. Most of the in-the-classroom stuff all stems from one question: how do I meet the needs of my students? The outside-the-classroom but inside-the-school stuff reduces to questions like “how does this meet the needs of our community?” and “what’s the next right thing that I or we can do here?” The questions are easy to ask; the answers are bears to wrestle with. I was wrapped up in complex conversations trying to solve all the problems in the world last week, more than normal. There was a GoGoGo! pace to things that left me flattened by Friday and into Saturday. And Sunday.
So it’s against this backdrop that I got sick. Maybe I was working too hard and not taking care of myself well enough. Maybe I just got unlucky with something I ate and that’s all there is to it. At any rate, I’ve been a prisoner to my apartment and the little plastic and porcelain toilet for much too long now. I had food poisoning about a month into my tenure here, and that came and went within 24 hours. There was another week when I had a mild case of something not being right — I felt icky enough to be slowed down but not bad enough to stop and be still. I labored through school for several days, finally took some antibiotics and was right as rain in a flash.
This is different. I have full-throttle Delhi Belly. The kind with loud music and dancing. Unfortunately, it’s not entertaining. The music is the sounds coming from my body in the echo-chamber of my bathroom, and the dancing are the gyrations I’ve been going through to get from the couch or bed into the bathroom while taking off my shorts at a sprint with less than a moment’s warning. Yikes. You know how it is — going from groaning stillness to Flash Gordon fast just like that, hoping you make it in time. It’s always awful, but somehow this is the worst. How bad could it be? Funny you should ask. Guess which one of these is NOT true of me over the last day.
– I’ve done a Google search for “pee coming out of butt”
– I’ve researched to see if there’s a Hindu god of the toilet or the scatological.
– I decided to visit the food shop seeking yogurt and bananas on the first floor of my building only after calculating how long it would take me to get to the shady toilet in the pool locker room on the same floor in case I have to make a mad dash for it.
– I prayed for an old-time, cold, glass bottle of 7up, the kind I was only permitted baby-sips from when I was sick as a kid, in hopes that between the substance or the nostalgia it might bring some relief to my innards.
– I celebrated the noxious burps that quickly followed drinking soda water. My goodness, the release of that gas is so great.
– I’ve considered only eating rice and warm milk for the rest of my life.
– I’ve looked into jobs in Denmark, France, and Luxembourg, because the idea of eating only cheese sounds like heaven compared to going back to whatever curry dish did me in.
Okay, they’re all true. I’ve had a lot of time by myself and my imagination may have run amok. Interesting note though: There isn’t a clear Hindu god of the toilet, per se. But there may have been a Roman god of flatulence (Crepitus). Seems a little like fiction: Romans didn’t have that kind of sense of humor, did they?”
Having to “run” to the toilet 10-15 times during the day evokes a certain way of seeing things. It’s hard not to laugh a little at the pure grossness of having such vile matter projecting itself from your body. It’s like this stuff has an attitude of “I’m so repulsed by you that I’m getting out of here, fast.” Note to disgusting mess in the toilet bowl: you weren’t invited! I also find my moments of gratitude stacking up like cars, buses and motor-bikes waiting to make a right turn on the highway outside my house: I’m grateful for the soda-induced burps and the harmonies of flatulence (there’s a few select individuals reading this who I know are into fart noises — it’s really quite amazing). I am grateful for the inane and the particular corners of the Internet, for they have helped me find this video, which gave me hope to one day move again with joyous abandon without fear of leaking. I’m happy that I’m not alone (according to Yahoo! Answers) in my symptoms but that I’m also very much alone in my execution. I’m also so grateful that this isn’t happening on a Indian train, because that would truly be the worst thing I can imagine right now. The worst.