The days of worrying whether or not I’ve shit my pants are over. Since I hit 40 I’ve shat my pants an unnerving number of times. I’m not sure if it’s age related or if it’s because I’ve discovered restaurants that serve a full breakfast for under $4.00 (it can sometimes seem like the amount you pay for food is equal to the time you keep it in your body).
Either way, I’ve learned a lot about pooping one’s pants, that the process can be so powerful it will happen while you are running at full speed, even up a flight of stairs, and yet, that it can be so gentle it will pass unnoticed. Now, shitting one’s pants is bad, but finding that you shat yourself and didn’t realize it is much worse, because it means that, to you, walking around with a load of crap in your pants feels completely normal.
I was obsessively running off to the bathroom every 15 minutes to make sure the “coast” was clear. Then yesterday, when I was about to run off for the obligatory check, I realized I wasn’t sure if I really cared. I didn’t smell like poo and I was wearing black pants so why should I interrupt a perfectly good lunch for a problem that only happens about 30% of the time? This attitude had already carried over to my zipper being down or having food in my teeth. I figure why worry about it? Just walk tall, smile a lot and people will think you mean it.
All this has been possible because I’ve given up any illusion of myself as “cool”. It’s not that I’ve grown past that sort of insecurity or anything admirable like that, I really just don’t have the energy to entertain that big an illusion anymore. Maybe it’s age or too much time spent dating guitar players but If I’m walking down the street with the sun glistening off my open zipper, food in my teeth waving in the wind, or my pants filled with poo, I’m just delighted I can still walk.
On her way to finding answers to your questions, Babe sees and hears a lot. Loiterer tells some of these stories, but she’s just one loiterer in a city of thousands — send your overheards and pocket-sized anecdotes her way.