As a child, I would never shit at school. No matter how strenuous, I would hold it in until I got home. Then it would ferociously explode out of me, like it was late for a flight. Clenching my arse cheeks and making sure my knees never spread further apart than my shoulders was normal, all so I could do my business without anyone knowing I was letting the brown cobra out of its cage.
I was weird about shitting. I still am.
A year ago I dove headfirst into a relationship with my childhood sweetheart. She lived two hours away, and I would visit her often. On Easter weekend, I stayed with her for three nights. On the Sunday morning, having held in an increasingly large amount of bog for almost 48 hours, my lovely girlfriend cooked me breakfast. A big breakfast it was, with all the trimmings. I washed it down with coffee and a cigarette, the unofficial formula for bowel evacuation.
Five minutes later I was clenching my way to the bathroom, lying about how much I needed a shower. Her studio apartment was particularly troublesome for incognito releases, with the bathroom door opening directly into the living room. So there I sat, sweat dripping from my brow, shower running at full blast, pushing out a tarmac-textured shit that had run the gauntlet of a 48 hour fermentation inside my colon. And it stunk. It stunk really, really bad.
If the smell wasn’t a dead giveaway, my awkward demeanor post-shower (shit) was enough to have me caught. Short of screaming “I didn’t poop!”, I made it blatantly obvious that the shower was merely a Macgyver-styled cover up for my hideously potent dump. She knew what I’d done, yet remained silent. And her silence piled atop every other awkward poo-related moment in my life. Together, these memories culminated in me being the total weirdo that I am about doing number twos.
Here’s a list of scenarios in which I don’t like shitting:
– In front of work colleagues.
– In front of sexual partners (past or present).
– In front of extended family.
– In any situation in which it’s directly obvious – either by time spent in toilet or smell emanating from toilet – that I’ve done a shit.
– In rich people’s houses.
On the off chance I drop a deuce and lock eyes with a person immediately after, it takes all of my willpower not to flat out say I’m sorry. I feel as if I’ve done our relationship an injustice. I’m left with an undying urge to tell them, “I shouldn’t have taken a massive crap in your toilet, but I did, and I’ll do my best not to let it happen next time – please don’t see me any differently, or ever mention this again. It’s terrifying.”
Coprophobia is classified as an abnormal and persistent fear of feces (bowel waste), and I most certainly don’t have that, though I’ve self-diagnosed myself with a fear of the feeling you get when someone knows you’ve just flushed away last nights butter chicken.
I’m not sure why the natural act brings me so much discomfort. Even to write this article anonymously was hard, plagued with an irrational fear that my words would be linked to my name and I’d never be able to live a life free of poop accusations again. Though I’m working on it. I’m trying to shit proudly. I’d love to be one of those guys who laugh about making an entire home smell like a treatment plant.
They say admitting you have a problem is the first step.
Words by Reluctant Pooper. Photo by Rob Western.