Fists Full of Pride
Eric Malteca was raised in sheer poverty. Without a pot to piss in, he aimed to piss on the world. As a young teenager he was good at two things: fighting and working out. At 16, he was a starting defensive lineman on the varsity football squad. He was simply bigger then anyone else. When he walked through the halls of his school he demanded attention; A true specimen, chiseled out of stone. Sitting atop the proverbial food chain, he was dominating. Eric was the alpha male. His beaming pride was senseless and growing blatant. He never drove because his family didn’t own a car, but he was driven everywhere by people trying to get close to him. And in his own self-absorbed mind, that was better anyhow.
When Eric graduated he soon realized that in the real world the same rules do not apply as they used to for him. His pride became petty arrogance and he failed to find a decent job. Though slightly humbled, he made ends meet and eventually began clawing his way back up the ladder selling cars at a local Mazda dealership. He dominated the other salesman like he did his peers in high school. He was electric when he spoke to customers. He felt more accomplished at that time in his life than he ever had. He had overcome adversity and was succeeding when others were failing. His pride swelled. Finally able to afford nicer things he rewarded himself with a great deal on a new car. Sports cars are women magnets. Eric was no idiot. Sure enough, not long after purchasing the car he landed a girl that he felt like he had been looking for. She intimidated him at times, and he liked it. He enjoyed the way she challenged him in a way that nobody else could. Someone needed to keep him in check, she was doing that with regularity. She was intelligent and picked a university that was near enough from home that she and Eric could remain together and not strain their relationship. Her move into a new apartment was a big life step. She had never lived outside of home. Eric agreed to assist in the move, guaranteeing him an introduction to her parents for the first time. He had a strange feeling in his stomach. It was something unexplainable for him that he hadn’t experienced before. He hadn’t been eating much and when he did it would go straight through him. He never really had a need to be nervous. He had confidence enough to know that he would come out on top and was truly fearless. He cared deeply about his girlfriend and thought that maybe she was the one. He decided that he would try his damnedest to make a good impression on her parents. He planned to steal off in the wee hours of the morning with a key to the new apartment and finish all of the moving himself before anybody else arrived to the scene. Physically, it was no easy task, but he was a built guy and he felt like he could handle it.
He was plenty tired at 3am and had nearly finished 20 ounces of coffee by the time he commenced unloading. Eric was surprised to find someone sleeping in the apartment when he arrived. He deduced that it must be the roommate. She was soundly asleep and he did his best not to wake her up. A few hours had passed and he was making great progress with the furniture and still the sleeping girl had not stirred. Their rooms were Jack-and-Jill style, each with its own toilet at the end of the opposing sides of the vanity. The apartment was a quaint 900 square feet and perfectly symmetrical. One might even think that at one time it may have been two individual apartments until all of the dividing walls were removed. Landlords have funny ways of making extra money.
At about 6am Eric stopped to take a break and eat a few egg Mcmuffins that he picked up. His girlfriend called around the same time. She gushed over his kind gesture. Her excitement was easily translatable. She reminded Eric of the parents and told him that she would catch a ride with them. They’d all be there shortly to help him finish up.
A wave of nervousness rolled over Eric’s abdomen. He shoved the remaining Mcmuffin and a half down into his gullet, and hustled back to work. Only his hustle was slowed. He felt groggy. There was a glistening sweat forming tack sized droplets on the back of his neck. His eyes grew foggy and his vision was patchwork. Remarkably he kept his balance when he was struck with lightheadedness. It felt like a bolt of lightning coursing through him from head to toe.
His stomach churned. Strange and inexplicable outside forces seemed to be gripping and squeezing his duodenum. He had the super-shits. The half furnished room where he stood rooted was spinning. He clenched his fists and went into battle against the unmerciful bile explosion brewing inside him. His arrogance not only led him to believe that he could battle this beast of digestion, but that he could win. His face turnip’d as if imploded, leaving him a crushed version somewhat resembling how it formerly looked. He knew that if he shat, the entire apartment would smell like a paper mill when the parents arrived. His ass reached critical mass. It was decision time. Eric broke for the bathroom and in one daring motion he pulled his pants down and leaped colon first towards the vacant toilet hole. He saw himself in the vanity mirror in mid-air and later realized that it looked like he was long-jumping backwards. He landed squarely on the seat and released the hell-hounds with immediacy. He figured that he would probably have enough time to worry about the smell after he finished. From that point in time there left a spiral of absolute and painstaking decisions that Eric mentally logged.
There is no toilet paper, not even the smallest piece of cardboard, or hand towel for me to wipe my ass with. Problem solved; I’m wearing two tube socks. The next item up for debate was deciding how to work with the smell, and not against it. He read somewhere that plumbing that goes stagnant and unused for some time needs yeast flushed into it in order to chemically treat the pipes. He thought that would be a great cover up. In the meantime, a few courtesy flushes would assist in later dismantling the smell. Eric reached behind him to flush away the ever-growing molehill of feces. He squarely grabbed the flush knob with his index finger and thumb. It fell off in his hand. His dad had showed him how to fix just about anything when he was younger. His family simply couldn’t afford to hire help to do it for them. Still facing forward, pants around his ankles, he reached behind him with both arms and tried lifting the toilet reservoir lid off so that he could manually flush it. His arms still burning from yesterdays triceps curls, the mere 15 pound porcelain lid slipped out of his shaking arms and struck his kneecap. The previous 3 hours of silence he excercised in moving the furniture, lay waste to this accident. He wailed infantly, making profane suggestions to the toilet cover like an insult comic, clutching his knee. Regaining his composure he remembered the sleeping roommate and listened for any signs of life from her room. There was none of the sort, though she may have simply been too frightened to investigate the pathetic yelping coming from a stranger in the bathroom. Eric stood and faced his demons. Before he pulled the trigger on the manual flush lever, he noticed one glaring problem with the toilet, there was no water in the reservoir. Scratching his head, Eric wondered, what next. The feces in the toilet was not going to climb out of the toilet, say its goodbyes, and walk itself to an ocean draining sewer. Nor was the smell getting any more pleasant. He was forced to act brashly. Eric removed his socks. Using the socks in hand puppet fashion he was able to thoroughly clean himself. On another occasion he would entertain the idea of using the puppets, now with chocolate covered faces, to talk to each other.
Hey, did you try this chunky beef chili? His right hand puppet would say. The left hand puppet would respond, Yeah, it was mighty fine chunky beef chili. Thanks for inviting me to your chili party.
But he currently had other business to tend to. He rolled the socks inside out and tossed them into the nearby sink. He was nursing a demented, cocky swagger. His next step became obvious. Peering down the bathroom, the slumbering roommate’s toilet was in eyeshot. Holding his breath, he reached his hands into the pile of muck in the toilet and cupped about 12 ounces of pasty, lumpy dung. He carefully began limping to the roommates toilet. Turd juices looked like turkey gravy as it ran down his arms. He was completely disgusted in himself, but there was no way out now, he had to finish the mission. He dropped the first load into the toilet, gathered himself, and returned to make a second trip. After a significant amount of scooping, and involuntarily analyzing what he had eaten, Eric hoisted the second load in his permanently poo-permeated hands and slowly limped it over as he did in the first trip. There were several small casualties unfortunately involved in this maneuver. His trail was marked with delicate brown splotches and smudges from toilet to toilet. He turned to about face the bowl and lower the goods into it once again but was startled and dropped it all over the seat. The roommate was staring at him, over his right shoulder, with a brand of disgust that science wouldn’t even classify as humanly possibly.
What in the living hell are you doing? WHO ARE YOU?!?!? It fucking stinks like shit in here! The roommate conceded that this was actually happening and she was awake after forcefully pinching herself.
Eric wanted to get away, ‘ding’, Southwest Airlines style. He was flushing the toilet without any such rapid rewards. His hands were smearing crap-paste all over the pristine white porcelain as he leaned against the reservoir of the toilet, jiggling the handle in a frightened state. Again, he was having no results.
DUMBASS, you’re going to break it. We haven’t had the water turned on yet!!! WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!?!? The roomie really didn’t know how to react.
Eric was failing.
The front door creaked open and the voice of his girlfriend and what must’ve been her parents was audible. The roommate in the meantime had grabbed a bat and was holding it cocked, ready to strike Eric.
He was frightened unlike he had ever been before. He was trapped and had no way out this time. He was in shock and his primal survival skills began to control his psyche. He couldn’t speak, he was Neanderthalic and could only react to his instincts.