The Haters Are Right: I'm Full of Sh*t
"A story about hate and gut-health."
I haven’t gone to the bathroom (number two) in six business days. I feel five months pregnant. I feel septic. I feel humid.
I shuffle out of the bathroom defeated, yet again.
“Did you ‘make’?” Savannah asks, in a mock accent that makes her sound like she’s from Flatbush, not Westchester. (For those of you from normal towns, “Did you make?” is what old-world Jews and Italians from the Tri-State area say instead of “Did you take a shit?”)
“Did you take a SHIT?!” Dayna asks, emerging from the kitchen draped in a silk nightgown. Dayna is an Italian from Long Island and because she's always teetering between crass and class she switches back and forth between saying “make” and “shit.” I notice that one strap of her nightgown has snapped and is hanging right at the curve of her waist. She doesn’t seem to notice or care — why would she? A broken strap is chic.
“I did not,” I say cooly. On days three and four I had a sense of humor about my lack of evacuation. By day five, I’d had enough.
Day six? I’ve not only had enough but I can see the red mist hovering over everything in plain sight, alarming me that at any given moment I could launch into a violent, blind rage if I'm not careful.
“Let me go to the store right now and get you an enema,” Savannah says in a way that is both pushy and authoritative. Like a strict but loving school teacher telling her failing student that she has potential—if only she'd do her homework. I get her intensity. Like me, Savannah is Jewish and struggles with bouts of acute constipation. I think because our origins are that of the desert we’re both very dry inside.
On the contrary, I’ve never known Dayna to go more than twelve hours without making/shitting. Italians have consistently consumed a fuck ton of extra virgin olive oil throughout their lives that they’re generationally regular. I’m very proud to be Jewish but Matzah doesn’t exactly lubricate the insides the way OIL does — if you know what I mean.
“Did you try eating FIBER?” Ana, Dayna’s fiancee screams from the kitchen. She goes to the bathroom the exact same time a day, every day.
I feel the warm flood of unabashed rage wash over my constipated limbs. I'm so constipated I can feel it in my arms. “OF COURSE I’VE TRIED FIBER I’M NOT AN ANIMAL!” I scream.
Ana is the sweetest and most generous host who has been patiently listening to me bitch about my bowels for the last five business days and doesn’t deserve to be a victim of my temper tantrum. But anyone who’s ever suffered from constipation understands how deeply infuriating it is to be asked such elementary questions from someone who’s never been backed up a day in their perfectly regular lives.
Have I tried Fiber? I’ve swallowed castor oil and have paid strangers to stick a hose up my ass, honey.
“Just let me get you an enema,” Savannah says gently this time. Her beautiful, soulful eyes teem with empathy. Her chocolate brown hair hangs in front of her pale face and she looks like some kind of Hebrew Angel! I imagine her with fairy wings gracefully flying into a Duane Reade clutching a star of David as she swoops up a pile of enemas with her sparkly angel hands.
I look outside and my fantasy immediately evaporates.
“NO! It’s BLIZZARDING!” I dramatically gesture to the window. We all peer outside. The snow is coming down heavy. The flakes are so big they look like cartoon snowflakes. I swear I can almost see the unique patterns on them. It’s mesmerizing.
For a moment I forget that I feel like a basketball is gestating in my stomach.
“It actually, like, low-key is blizzarding,” Dayna says in her best San Fernando Valley accent, pulling a bottle of sauvignon blanc from the fridge.
“I can’t handle you dying while driving to get me an enema." I pout like a petulant child. "I feel bad enough as is.”
“For what?” Savannah asks.
“Nothing in particular. Guilt is my general baseline.” I notice that there's a kernel of popcorn in my bra. No wonder I'm backed up.
She nods her head in deep understanding. There aren’t certain things Jewish girls intrinsically understand and one is the plight of being stricken with generalized baseless guilt all of the time.
Dayna pours each of us a liberal glass of wine for two in the afternoon.
“Drink this,” She orders, handing me a wine glass. “It will make you feel better. It’ll relax you and then you’ll go make!” She giggles, her upward-turned Cleopatra eyes looking like black diamonds. We both know it’s probably not true as alcohol dehydrates you, but we both also know that we love any excuse to indulge our inner alcoholic. I clink my glass against her glass. We’re in ~cahoots~ baby.
The soft velvet blanket of gratitude covers me from head to toe and I'm suddenly warm, and soft.
“Thank you guys for being so supportive of me,” I say misty-eyed like a Grammy winner addressing her fans.
Am I about to cry? I don’t know if I’m about to get my period or if the constipation is rendering me hyper-sensitive or if it is indeed rare to have a wolf-pack of girlfriends wildly concerned about your unsavory stomach issues.
Savannah looks like she might cry too. “We’re always here for you, Z.” Her voice is slightly shaky and her angel eyes are glistening like the shiny floors of her kosher grandmother's condo in Boyton Beach, Florida
Dayna puts her arms around both of us. “I will literally stick my finger in your ass if you want me to,” she says this like she means it and I’m certain she does.
I sneak away to the kitchen to pour my wine into my favorite Hello Kitty mug. Have you ever noticed that all mentally ill girls — regardless of their age, class, or creed — have this irrepressible love for all things Hello Kitty? I think it’s because our dark, corrupted little minds covet the simple innocence of a white, plush-coated cat. She represents something very specific we don't have but desperately wish we had: Wholesomeness.
Photo Credit: Me (Wearing my Hello Kitty jacket).
That or we connect with the overall mania of Hello Kitty, herself. I mean she’s an overweight cat with a giant head who wears bows? No "normal" cat would ever choose to wear a bow. They’d rock a switchblade maybe. But not a bow. Bows are for sissies and no cat is a sissy. A cat is a swashbucklin' dyke that walks with her pelvis leading the way.
Or maybe it’s just that we mentally ill girls are just stuck in the age of repressed childhood trauma?
To think that Yale hasn't conducted a study...
Dayna pads into the bathroom and comes out with a phallic-looking bottle of body oil. She's wearing Barbie pink slippers that have been torn apart by her chihuahua and dachshund mix (the two most mentally ill breeds combined).
"Lay down," Dayna demands.
I'm British. I don't ask questions. I shut up and do as I’m told.
“Oh, babe! Are you going to give her one of your famous poop massages?” Ana asks, her eyes lighting up like a flickering neon sign at a Southern motel.
“Hell yeah, I am,” Dayna says, strictly business.
She lubes up her arm and gets to work, kneading on my stomach. I can feel air moving around and I can’t help but release a loud fart. It’s not a productive fart, it’s one of those farts that's just air. It's me as a fart: shallow but noisy.
Everyone hysterically laughs. Wine flies out of Savannah's nose. Dayna is dry-heaving laughing, the kind that is soundless because you're choking and the laugh is stuck in your throat.
I look down at my outfit. I'm in a head-to-toe pink sweatsuit with playboy bunny logos all over it. A year ago I would've been in a DVF wrap dress putting final touches on my soon-to-be-released book, from a chic women's only coworking space in SOHO.