Don’t follow me

My legs quivered as I suspended myself above the toilet bowl. No touching the seat! Just a careful pee session.

Then it happened.  Gas slipped out. 

Why. Do. I. Have. This. Problem. 

I wiped myself and went through the motions of zipping, buttoning, adjusting and flushing. All that time passed and the putrid fart odor remained trapped in the stall.  

Damn. 

The door swooshed open to announce the arrival of two co-workers.  I stood exposed at the sink, obviously the only culprit. 

One of them entered my stinky stall. 

My stomach flipped. There was only one thing I could do.

Run!

Intruder

Relief rushed through my body as a steady stream escaped my nether region. As my bum hovered precariously over the toilet, I heard the door swing open. Footsteps clicked and clacked until the very next stall door snapped into place.

What? Seriously? A billion open stalls in the empty bathroom and someone goes right next to me??

I scowled at the heels shuffling nearby on the floor.  I held my breath and grimaced while squeezing my butt cheeks tight. Please please don’t fart. Why, oh why did I drink that cup of milk. Lactose intolerance is a real thing!

It might be someone from my departmemt.   Heat scorched my cheeks and I felt a sweat break out. I finished peeing and patted myself quickly. 
Panic set in as I worried about whatever accidentally slipped out earlier or worse – smell whatever odor they unleash from pulling down their pants.  

Omg. Does my pee smell like coffee??  I tripped in my attempt to flush with my foot, fly out of the stall and wash my hands before the intruder could see who I am. Run! 

I tore at the paper towel dispenser and bolted out the door just as I heard the stall lock slide. 
Aaaaaaaand she’s SAFE!

That’s how they say it in baseball, right?

Betrayal

I looked dubiously over at my coffee cup. It was sitting in time out in the corner of my desk. A deep rumbling exploded from my abdomen. Damn!  I kept my gaze concentrated on my paperwork and hoped no one would realize that morning coffee betrayed me. No! Not at work! A sigh escaped as I calculated 7 more hours of torturous trapped gases to endure.

The Rumbling

Grrrroooowwwl. 

My eyes flicked toward my coworker in the cubicle to my right.  I mentally forced myself to not turn and look straight at his belly.  

It was the embarrassing tummy grumble we all experience whenever it is dead quiet in a room full of non-family members. I insist on pretending I do not hear tummy growls.

He stood up and walked away. I went back to work, quickly forgetting him… and his awkward belly music.

Immersed in my lively data entry, I heard a voice and then noticed his head turned in my direction.  He asked quietly, “What did you eat for lunch?”

My face twisted. “Nothing. I think I should punish myself since I forgot my lunch at home again. What did you eat?”

“Oh, I didn’t eat lunch. My stomach is bothering me. Could it be the milk? My stomach feels…” he lowered his voice to just below a whisper. “Shitty,” he mouthed. “All morning since I had cereal and milk. Going to the bathroom.” He rubbed his stomach soothingly for emphasis.

I looked at him thoughtfully. “Did you check the expiration date on the milk?”

“No, I bought it from the cafe downstairs.” He continued when my puzzled look remained frozen, “They pour milk into the bowl for you.”

“I see. So it is possible they left the milk out for too long. Yeah, you could be feeling yucky from the milk.” 

Since he looked a little doubtful, I sought to reassure him that it was entirely possible. “Places give out expired or bad milk all the time. I cannot tell you how many times kid meals come with expired milk. It depends on the person checking the inventory and it often goes unnoticed.”

My coworker nodded. “Yeah. I am not going back for cereal and milk from there for a long time! Sorry that was so TMI.”

I scoffed. “Nothing is TMI. I am a MOM.” 

When Fools Still Dream

My eyes glanced warily around, then scanned my email. All was quiet. I took a small breath. No one yelled, scolded, complained or cried. I sighed in relief. Today might contain a blessed bit of solace.

The God’s looked down upon me and chuckled maniacally. They twitched in morbid anticipation of loading my shoulders with heavier cinderblocks. Their lips curved with impish delight. “That fool,” they said. “Still hopes to see the light. There is no tunnel. Only mayhem!”

I turned my head sharply to the left. Thought I heard something.  Was that laughter? Or the wind? Nevermind. Work beckoned; several emails pinged simultaneously. I squinted at them as my heart thudded dully.  Another impossible challenge dropped onto my lap.

Looking back at my toddler tiger in bed as she recovered from a persistent fever, I pursed my lips and began to type.