Last week was the most glorious week of my entire life. It was spent on a beach in Florida with the greatest family and friends I could ever ask for. The weather was amazing. The drinks were cold. Everything was awesome.
But like all good things, it came to an end. Way too fast. And it was time to drive all the way back to Chicago.
Beau likes to do all the driving. Because he makes really good time. Even though it takes exactly fourteen hours. Every single time.
We got on the road around five AM. I noticed my stomach was a little upset with me. I can’t imagine why. But we were already on the road and I know Beau was trying to shave some minutes off his personal record, so I didn’t want to ask him to stop.
So I just tried to ignore it. I’d be fine. We’d be home in fourteen hours. In the privacy of my own commode.
But somewhere in Alabama things took a turn for the worse. It was evident I wouldn’t be making my deposit in Chicago. It would be here in Alabama. In a very rural town. In a very rural toilet.
I turned to Beau and told him it was time. Just like when our kids were born. It actually turned out to be just as gruesome as giving birth.
I could see the gas station just up the road. I can only liken it to what it must feel like to be greeted by St. Peter at the pearly gates of heaven. Except for not as clean.
By this point, my stomach was bubbling. It was angry. And it wasn’t going to take no for an answer any longer.
I jumped out of the car before it came to a complete stop. Because I was going to make it to that porcelain God. So God help me. God dammit.
But I did not. Not. Even. Close.
Somewhere between the antifreeze and the beef jerky, I lost my sh!t. Literally. Through clenched butt cheeks.
Explosive. Travelers. Diarrhea.
My body had failed me. Once again.
When I finally made it into the bathroom stall, seven days of non-stop drinking flashed before my eyes. Each and every bottle of wine. Every last poor decision I had made. And regret. So much regret.
I seriously did not know what to do. But I’m not someone to sit around and wallow in my own, well, never mind.
I did what any middle aged woman with zero self-respect would do. I ditched a perfectly good pair of under pants in the waste bin and took care of business. Again.
I walked right out of that stall. Naked from the waist down. And I washed out my joggers in the sink of that shady S-Town bathroom. Praying to Sweet Baby Jesus that no one would walk in.
I finally got them clean. Well clean enough. I had no choice but to put them back on soaking wet. And do the walk of shame to the car.
The look on Beau’s face said it all. It’s a look I’ve seen a few times before. Shame. Pure, unadulterated shame.
It only took about eight hours for my pants to dry through the dashboard sun. Beau was making such good time we couldn’t possibly stop to get my clothes off the roof of the car. But by then I had come to terms with what had happened in Alabama.
I felt bad for the gas station attendants who would happen upon my dirty drawers. But then I thought it can’t be the worst thing they’ve ever seen. Just like what I tell myself at the gynecologist.