My greatest phobia

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I have never been able to crap in a public bathroom. Since my youth it has been one of my phobias. The thought of pulling down my pants in that tiny little stall, using that insignificant lock, and actually staying there for several minutes mortifies me. I hardly like to take a piss in one of those things, but I do for fear that my bladder will burst. When I was a kid, I'd force my intestines to calm themselves for eight hours at a time, just so I'd be able to hold back the flood until I returned home, my safe bathroom waiting for me.

The bathroom becomes a socially mortifying place when someone else is in your apartment. My friend Robert's staying with me this evening, and since there are times when I like to stay up and write, I've given my bed over to him. I am staying in my office. Unfortunately for me, it is to my bedroom that the bathroom is connected.

This night was a series of poor choices, as far as my colon was concerned. Indian food followed by chocolate, beer, and ultimately, falafel. My intestines were howling for release. Unfortunately, I waited until 1:45 to listen. I tried to creep in, but it was no use. The lights in the bathroom are on the outside of the door, so before you go in there, light floods the bedroom. It's a rather harsh light and can at times awaken the person sleeping.

The problem wasn't that I had this intestinal need at quarter to two in the morning. I didn't like that very much, but that wasn't the worst of it. The problem was that this need was not quenching itself quietly. Instead of solid matter, gas continued to expel itself into my awaiting toilet. I was worried he'd think I was using the bathroom for even less socially acceptable circumstances.

The more I think about it, the more I realize just how often this happens to me. The first time I went off to camp, I had been having some bladder problems. I must have gone to the bathroom twelve times during the night. Lucky me, I'd chosen the bed furthest from the bathroom. My bunk mates noticed. I wasn't able to go to the bathroom without blushing for the rest of the summer.

I can't use the bathroom in my girlfriend's apartment. It really is a nice bathroom, one of the best I've seen in a while. But even if she knows I'm in there, something in my brain tells me that if I even piss, she'll hear it, become sickened, and break up with me immediately.

Last weekend, I was at work. For the entire day, I'd needed release. However, I'd continued to hold myself back. It seems to me that being known as the employee who stunk up the entire back room would be a less than desirable person to be. Finally, after all the customers had left and we were cleaning up the store, the need overtook me and I told my boss that I had to use the facilities. Of course, he told me to go ahead. I go in, close the door... nothing happens. I'm frozen. And I realize in that moment that I will never be able to crap while sitting on this toilet, and no matter how much pain my intestines are in, it is nothing compared to the pain my brain fears it will experience later.

So now, as I wait here in the dark, my intestines still yell at me. "There's more," they cry. "There's more!" I simply sigh. Nothing's going to send me back in there. They'll just have to wait until morning.

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