Last time my mom visited, she left her car and asked me to watch after it. That very same day, I parked under some power lines, and a whole army of crows took turns shitting all over the roof. She had specifically told me not to park it outside. So, when the day came for her return, I drove to one of those coin-operated pressure washers to remove the evidence.
Normally, I’d just put a dollar in the machine, and rush through everything really quickly. But this time, I loaded up plenty of quarters, and made sure her car was a sparkling gem. I’m a good son, I thought to myself.
On the way home, I stopped by Chipotle for a burrito, and that’s when I made my first mistake. I asked for extra salsa—and not the sissy mild salsa, but that devil-red, extra hot one with all the chili seeds floating around in it like burning embers.
“More, please,” I urged the burrito girl, and she obliged.
I was delighted to see a river of lava flow onto my plate. I paid, and then ate, cradling that burrito like a small child. I finished it quickly, and began the long walk back to my mom’s car.
After the first block, my stomach was already churning, and it was clear that I’d need to use a bathroom. I passed plenty of shops, restaurants, and cafes. I could have easily walked up, and asked to use any of their restrooms. But I didn’t, because I could already see how that would play out:
“I’m sorry, but the restroom is for paying customers,” someone would say, with a pained expression on their face.
“Yes, I know, but this is an emergency,” I’d retort, with an even more pained expression.
And then, understanding that I was in danger of shitting my pants, they would grant me access to the bathroom, but this coming at the cost of my dignity. I was too proud for that. I had to make it home.
So, I clinched my butt cheeks tight, and hurried towards the car. But by the time I got there, I couldn’t hold it any longer. Stricken by fear, I got inside and started to drive, anyway. I was in panic mode.
This shit was going to happen at any moment, whether or not I decided to prepare for it. I felt like a dog must, as it circles the lawn before taking a squat. I saw an open spot on the side of the road, and veered towards it.
In one swift motion, my pants were down, the door was open, and I stood squat in the middle of the street, unleashing a torrent of brown liquid.
I saw a woman nearby, smoking a cigarette on her balcony, and she saw me, too. Our eyes locked. We shared a very intimate moment. Cars were passing by and a kid on his skateboard swerved to avoid the open door and mounting puddle. I ripped my shirt off, bunched it up under my ass, jumped back into the car and sped off. The whole dump was over in seconds. And then I was gone, vanished into the night like a vision of Chaos.
On the way home, I wondered how that woman with the cigarette would use what she had seen. Would she tell her friends and family? Did she call the police? And I wondered if anyone else would pull over to park in that spot, only to step out into a puddle of human shit.
Then, I was home. My mom had already arrived and was waiting inside. My pants were still down around my ankles, and my shirt was ruined. I wiped off as best I could with the rest of that shirt, pulled my pants up, and stepped out from the driver’s seat.
That’s when I realized the full extent of what I had done.
The puddle of Chipotle mud had gotten kicked up by the tires, and was splattered all along the side of my mom’s car. It looked almost as bad as it smelled.
I went inside, slipping past her, showered, changed my clothes, and drove right back to the coin-operated car wash… Again.
I’m sure there’s a lesson I could pretend to have learned. But to be honest, this wasn’t the first time I’ve shamed myself like this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. If I had a dollar for every story of mine that starts with Chipotle, and ends with me shitting my pants, I could definitely afford some new pants, and maybe a new shirt, too. I’d be a very rich, very humble man.