What You've Got Til It's Gone

It had been days since his last bowel movement. Six days since he began counting, but he wasn't quite sure how many days there had been before he thought to keep track. At first he didn't really notice. Nothing felt different, and he had just enough going on in his life that that one detail was easily overlooked. In hindsight, he may have been slightly aware of an increase in free time, but it was so negligible that he didn't give it a second thought. But, ever since that fateful moment six days ago when the realization finally hit, it was all he could think about.

He knew it was odd that days had passed without him being aware that he had stopped using the stalls at work. Or that he couldn't recall exactly when the last time had been when he enjoyed leisurely leafing through People magazine while his posterior bade farewell to a past meal. The reason he hadn't noticed was that everything still felt so normal. That was the strangest thing. In actuality there were a great many strange things about his predicament, but the lack of any physical discomfort was certainly high on the list.

Though he had never excelled in biology, he was quite aware of the rudimentary mechanisms involved in human digestion. Even independent of these physiological processes, like most individuals over the age of three, he had realized that things didn't simply disappear. Something that you put into your mouth and swallowed had to go somewhere. Though, for the life of him, he couldn't see where.

It wasn't as if he had stopped eating. Far from it. For the last six days, in addition to his regular meals, his body had become a virtual dumping ground for vast quantities of fiber, roughage, and laxatives; both FDA-approved and "experimental." He had tried the capsules, the "chocolate" flavoured bars, and canisters of the grainy powder that's supposed to dissolve in water. All of which promised "guaranteed results." None delivered. Neither did the Castor oil, the Milk of Magnesia, or the Pepto. It wasn't until day four, in a fit of desperation, that he had given in and begun to try treatments that weren't designed to be swallowed.

While it hadn't specifically been a goal, he had hoped to live a full life without ever finding himself in a position to purchase an enema, let alone use one. However, after running through three boxes of "gentle glide" suppositories, his options were limited. Not even the frighteningly large, crumbly number from the box with Chinese instructions and a smiling toilet on the label had produced as much as a fart. So it was that he found himself in his bathtub, naked, on his hands and knees, emptying 20 ounces of God-knows-what into a place he vowed to never again take for granted.

The liquid from the enema bottle, like the suppositories, the medications, and all the food, were never seen again. It had been uncomfortable for a few moments, but when he sat eagerly on the porcelain, hoping to hear the long-awaited splash, nothing happened. No manner of straining, labored breathing, or pressure on his abdomen made any sort of difference. The depression, which had been previously kept at bay by the overwhelming fear and shock, now came on full-force.

He hadn't been to work since day two of his ordeal, and had no contact with friends or relatives. While he wanted greatly to speak to someone, anyone about his problem, he couldn't bring himself to do it. It was too strange, too embarrassing, to mention. Even seeing a doctor was out of the question. He knew a doctor wouldn't believe him if he told of how long it had been. Even if they did believe him, he would be no doubt be subjected to a plethora of degrading tests, none of which he believed would accomplish anything. Either that, or since he wasn't experiencing any detrimental physical side effects, he would be dismissed as a simple human oddity and sent on his way. This was something he had to deal with alone.

As the sun rose on day six, he refused to get out of bed. He still felt no pain, pressure, or discomfort. He had been ingesting an abundance of strange foods and a wide variety of chemicals for five full days, and physically he felt no different than he had on day one. In spite of his body's bizarre retention of everything he had digested or inserted, he hadn't gained an ounce. If anything, the stress over his repeated failed attempts had caused him to lose weight. Ironically, it was hunger that eventually propelled him out of bed.

As he sat at his kitchen table that afternoon, languidly chewing a peanut butter sandwich, a final, last-ditch ploy came to him. If there was nothing that man could do to help him, he would turn to God. Never a religious man, a faint glimmer of hope burned within him. He set down his half-eaten sandwich and knelt on the tile floor. With hands clasped tightly in front of his face, he began to pray.

He poured his soul into that prayer, begging Jesus himself to come down to Earth and loose his bowels. He pleaded with the Almighty, promising the Lord anything and everything if he could just be granted this one request. He declared that not a day would go by that he wouldn't start and end with prayer. He would diligently go to church every Sunday, donate all of his excess income, and volunteer at the local soup kitchen. Not only that, he solemnly pledged that he would never again let a blasphemous word pass his lips, or an unclean thought dwell within his mind. He would dedicate the rest of his life to God. His existence would be chaste and holy.

As he ended his prayer, tears streamed down his face. He slowly rose to his feet, and sighed a great, heavy sigh. With what he hoped was confidence, he brushed the few crumbs from his shirt and embarked upon the walk down the hall of his apartment towards his open bathroom door, and the destiny that awaited therein.

Author's Note:
This is a very rough draft, and in no way should be considered complete, or taken seriously. I wrote this in one sitting, at work, with little or no thought as to what I was writing. I had been trying to write something else, something I have actually put thought into, but it hasn't come easily. So, I thought I would just sit down and type whatever nonsense came into my head, just to write something, (and to avoid actually working.) I guess the idea came from the thought that I couldn't write shit. So I challenged that thought and wrote just that. I must say, it seems somehow fitting that the first thing I posted on a blog with "compost" in the title has to do with excrement...

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