I know it seems like I blog about poop a lot. I assure you, I don’t actually talk about poop this much in real life.
Actually I do, and here’s why: pooping is fantastic. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy it. It’s like masturbation with none of the guilt. Or peeing if peeing was a whole-body experience that took place while resting on a throne in the peace of our universally accepted safe-places.
Why do these have to be half-taboos of our society? Everyone loves pooping, everyone loves peeing (and other than the horrible onset of post-masturbatory loneliness, everyone loves doing that too). And surely, with the safe yet deceiving anonymity of the age of internet, everyone talks about it more and more. All of them should be celebrated with open joy, as one celebrates a marriage, or a daily bar mitzvah – a young bowel coming of age and passing onto the adult world of sewage. Surely, like humans, those young poops have dreams and ambitions too. Why the shame? Our poops are reflections of us. Every day, we pass metaphors of ourselves. Why pretend they don’t exist?
As much as I love pooping, I never fully appreciated the value of pooping until I encountered the following less-than-funny anecdote. My dear uncle (dad’s brother) was diagnosed with brain cancer around Christmas time. Needless to say, it wasn’t the happiest Christmas. There was a lot of anxiety in my family, and holiday cheer was pretty elusive, but we kept together with hope (and hope we still do). Yet, however well or poorly it was going in my family, none of us could even fathom what my uncle and his family were going through. The tumor and surgery had left my uncle half-paralyzed, in pain, and constipated.
In the midst of this, my dad and I took a drive one afternoon and talked about it:
“I just can’t even imagine what [Uncle] Bob is going through,” he said. There was a pause. “I mean, the thought of possibly dying is bad enough… but not being able to shit? That’s the worst.”
I was rather surprised by my dad’s implication that constipation was worse than death. But, I suppose the wise father has many years of life experience over me, so I didn’t challenge it.
A week later, I visited my uncle with my mom, dad, and sister. It was good to see him although he spent most of the time on the couch, and looked generally miserable. I wished there was something I could do, but I felt powerless. It broke my heart to see my uncle, a marathon runner and renown jokester in a state of unhappiness.
I left soon after, and my brother arrived to spend time with him.
Then my brother returned and told me a different story:
“Yeah, when I first arrived, he was immobile and uncomfortable like how you saw him. He didn’t talk much. But then, after a while, he took the largest dump known to mankind, and immediately, he was his old self again! He was making jokes and talking, and interacting with us… we watched Stanford play in the Orange Bowl and he was cheering and it was great! Uncle Bob was back!”
Who knew that a single dump could change a life or restore identity? Perhaps the tug and pull of happiness in our lives is balanced by the fulcrum of our rectums. Maybe my dad was right – maybe constipation is worse than death. But if nothing else, this goes to show how we shouldn’t be ashamed of our pooping, we should be proud of it. Pooping is a part of what makes us happy and human. We should embrace it like a long walk during sunset, or a wildflower bloom. We should dedicate poetry and compose songs towards those special dumps that make life worth living, because without the joy of pooping, what sad lives would we lead?
You never know when the obstacle between you and the reclamation of self rests in your large intestine.