We must travel backward in time to 1979, a prehistoric time for those of you fortunate individuals who had yet to be born. My parents had all ready been divorced for a few years by then, and every summer, my brother and I (ages 9 and 11, respectively) would fly from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where we lived with our mother, to stay with our father for a couple of months, wherever he happened to be at the time. At that time this was the San Francisco Bay area city of Walnut Creek, CA, where our grandparents were also living. Both my father and grandfather were avid fishermen, and as you can imagine we did alot of fishing, as there were an unlimited choice of spots for this in that area of California, both freshwater and saltwater (not to mention “brackish” water, which is used to describe where freshwater and saltwater meet, such as where a river flows into the sea).
Often we would saddle up at dawn and drive to a promising location to spend a few hours fishing, sometimes accompanied by my grandfather. This was one such occasion. We arrived at my grandparents house at about zero dark thirty that morning, myself and my brother still half asleep, and stayed just long enough to pick up my grandfather. Not content with the promise that we would “stop and eat somewhere on the way,” I managed to wake up sufficiently to scarf down 7 or 8 deviled eggs, which my grandmother had sitting on the countertop. At the tender age of 11, I was blissfully ignorant of the concept of gluttony, its status as one of the seven deadly sins, and the wages that I now had owed to me as a result of that furtive act of pre-sunrise gluttony. This particular area of my blissful ignorance now had a remaining life expectancy of less than one hour.
Our destination that fateful morning was a waterway (brackish, if my memory serves me correctly) known as the ‘Montezuma slough,’ and is found somewhere in the vicinity of the city of Antioch. The sun had just appeared on the horizon to take command of the day when we pulled into a completely isolated bait store which doubled as a restaurant of sorts, depending, I suppose on how liberal your definition of ‘restaurant’ happens to be. I do remember that all four of us were served grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, which suggests a fair possibility that the menus of this establishment could be printed on a matchbook, with room to spare. But, I am getting ahead of myself; oh yes indeed. I was in a very bad state by the time we had pulled up to this place- the words “anguish” and “desperate” pale in significance to what I was feeling just then.
When we finally arrived, I got out of the car very carefully and proceeded into the place, walking stiff- legged, as if I had plaster casts on both legs. My hindquarters I had clenched with such force that carbon ‘coal to diamond’ conversion would require no more than 10 seconds. There were maybe eight or ten people inside the store when we got to the counter and just as I was going to ask to use the restroom, dad yells out “that boy’s gotta shit!” at the top of his lungs. Everybody is laughing but I don’t even care as I shuffle past them in the direction that the man pointed. There are two doors that say ‘poles’ on one and ‘holes’ on the other; I don’t have time to figure it out, so I just picked one and hurried to the toilet, unbuttoning my pants on the way. God, it stunk in there! But I made it! That’s all that matters.
I had all ready let loose as my cheeks were hitting the toilet seat. On the way down it barely registered that the toilet had an appearance of not having been flushed after a previous occupant had evacuated his (or her, in all fairness) bowels with almost as much force as I myself had just done. For some reason I got the distinct impression that this event had transpired months before, and this should have set off warning bells, but the relief that I felt had given way to a tremendous sense of gratitude that I had not had an ‘accident’ which undoubtedly would have been exploited by my 3 fellow fishing partners. My father is of the type that would have absolutely no problem in announcing to the occupants of the bait store/ restaurant with all of the same enthusiasm “Look! That boy done shit his pants!” as he had demonstrated with his original comment. And so, still not done with my task, I reached back and executed what is known in some circles of society as a “courtesy flush” in an attempt to clear the air of the cloying fecal bouquet, which was so thick and putrid (almost ‘tangy’) that you could just about see it’s molecules saturating the air as you breathed it in.
It took me by complete surprise when the filth that had been accumulating in the toilet for God knows how long (mixed with that which I had just added) rose up until it made widespread, solid contact with my unsuspecting asscheeks and genitals. Time seemed to slow with that nightmarish quality that is sometimes experienced during fast paced, traumatic events (i.e. car wrecks). I looked down, dumbfounded, as the horrible glop had just begun to slop over the rim of the toilet and spill into my underwear and jeans.
And my last coherent thought was the rather detached, disassociated observation that there were a countless number of very active looking maggots that were passengers among the concentrated evil that was making its way into my life.
That is all, and good day to you.