My first year of college at SUNY Stony Brook was great. I loved the professionals who taught the political science and history courses there. Many worked in high-powered United Nations, U.S. Government or NGO positions in Manhattan and they taught us much from a blended synthesis of both the academic and the practical. In many ways, my first year of school was ideal. But this was not to last beyond the first month of my spring semester.
I had finished the Fall Semester in triumph. I earned straight A’s and got on the good side of numerous professors. Even though I lived off-campus with my parents in Port Jefferson, I still managed to make a lot of friends, dated a few girls and even rushed a fraternity. The winter break following finals was also great and I spent it making numerous forays into Manhattan with my new girlfriend. As I began the new spring semester in January of 1994, the future looked wide-open and bright. I was quickly on my way toward becoming a “big man on campus.”
I took a full academic load and hunkered down for a tough and grueling study schedule. My first course was on international relations and it was taught at 7:00 am by a professor who also served as an assistant U.S. diplomat at the United Nations, in Manhattan. Every morning I made certain to be the first student in class, not only because I wanted to schmooze with the professor before classes began (so as to make a good impression) but also, so that I could flirt with a cute redhead named Lauren who often sat beside me. Lauren was friends with my ex-girlfriend and knew that I was now “on the market.” She must have heard good stories about me, because she made it obvious to everybody, including me, that she was interested.
One morning I was in a rush and couldn’t eat the breakfast my mom had prepared for me before I left home. Instead, I stopped at a local convenience store and purchased two cartons of plain milk, two cartons of chocolate milk and a pre-made fried egg and cheese sandwich. I paid for my food and jumped back in my car and drove like hell, because I was going to be late for class. While driving, I took a few bites out of my sandwich, but tossed it out the window: in my haste, I had grabbed a semi-cooked one. It was disgusting. To get the bad taste out of my mouth, I quickly downed the two cartons of chocolate milk.
I arrived at school just in time. I parked and ran to class, with all my stuff and the two remaining cartons of milk in my LL Bean backpack. I got to class 10 minutes after it began. No big deal, since kids were still talking, the professor was writing stuff on the chalk-board and nothing was really going on. However, everybody saw me come in through the doors and down the aisle and walk up to the front of the classroom to take my seat, next to Lauren, where I usually sat. Lauren was wearing her hair in the most amazing manner that morning, a ponytail and a sweater and she looked heavenly. I could smell her from where I was sitting and I could barely keep my mind and attention focused on the professor’s lecture. All I could think about was talking to Lauren and asking her out to a movie. All I could do was rehearse the lines in my head. Nervous, I remembered the milk in my bag and I started to drink it and act macho, like I was some kind of awesome Hispanic athlete, a jock all the ladies could admire. I worked-out religiously and drinking milk was part of the heroic image of ultra health and virility that I had crafted for myself.
However, this image wasn’t to last.
Within 20 minutes of my blitz-milk-chugging I could feel my stomach turn and knot and curdle inside my gut. It was one of the worst feelings in my life. It not only felt horrible, but it sounded horrible, too.
The loud churning chorus of bubbling gasses and noxious liquids violently gushing around inside me loudly interrupted my professor’s lecture. He stopped and he looked at me. Lauren noticed, too, and she looked at me with an expression I can only describe as “disgusted amusement.” I heard some guys behind me start to snicker and laugh.
It was no laughing matter.
Within a few minutes I knew I couldn’t last much longer and I got up from my chair and quickly walked up the lecture hall aisle, ascending upward toward the large swinging door in the rear of the auditorium. The closer I came to the door, the quicker and more violent the quaking tremors in my gut became. I rapidly speeded my pace such that, by the time I was halfway up the aisle, my quick walk had transformed itself into a veritable jog. My face was red. There was sweat on my brow. Tears were beginning to form in my eyes. People could see me. They were watching me. Staring at me. I was sure of it.
I pushed the doors open with a violent linebacker shoulder slam and ran down the hallway with all my might. I felt like I was about to cry and the violent athletic exertion only made my stomach worse.
Halfway down the hall I heard a loud explosion. It could have been from a
war-zone, but I knew better. The source was from within. I had just experienced the loudest, messiest and most painful anal explosion ever known by the sphincter of man. The force of it, combined with my running, caused my knees to buckle and actually served to knock me down, tripping face first, onto the tile floor of the hallway. I was still 100 feet away from the restroom.
I wanted to die. I was panicking. I was mortified that such an embarrassing and horrible thing had happened to me. Not only had I, a grown man, shit myself, but I had done so in public in front of people I was desperately trying to impress. I had also fallen down and found myself covered in diarhea.
It quickly dawned on me--with the speed of instant awareness that only an emergency such as this can convey upon a mortal man such as myself—that I was wearing khaki pants. Could it get any worse than this? The evidence of my anal indiscretion would be apparent to all---students, teachers, professors, fraternity members and Lauren. It would be one thing if I was wearing jeans. I could say I sat in water accidentally or fell in the snow. Nobody would be able to tell if the wet-spot was brown or blue or whatever; nobody would be able to discern the source. But light beige khakis? I might as well have hung a sign around my neck saying "Hi. My name is Miguel and I just shit myself. Please shoot me."
I realized that I only had a few moments with which to come to my senses, collect my stuff, and make a mad-dash for the bathroom. My life depended on it.
So I pulled myself up and ran. Then came the most disgusting sensation I had ever experienced in my life. As I ran to the bathroom I could feel the anal ejecta slowly ooze itself down my legs and into my socks, quickly moving downward with the rythmic momentum of my running leg pace. With each leg I threw forward, the nastiness was flung farther and farther down. I started to feel it between my toes. At the same time, the “wick-effect” took over, and the dampness spread upwards toward the front side of my pants as well.
The smell and sight of total liquid shit was all enveloping and all consuming. It was worse than taking a steaming hot mud bath in a stinking southern swamp. It felt like I was...well...it felt like I was covered in shit...
Once I was in the bathroom I knew the coast was clear. Luckily, God granted me stellar critical thinking and problem solving skills, so I was speedily trying to devise a way to get myself out of this situation. My pants were ruined, but I was wearing an oversized bright, fire-engine red sweater, a flannel shirt and a coat. My socks and pants were totally destroyed, as were my underwear.
What to do?
Well, the first thing I did was rip my clothes off and quickly wiped the shit off of me. It was all over my ass, lower back, inner thighs, calves and had worked its way between my toes. I was a total mess and felt like an infant. I mean, how the fuck does this happen to a grown man, an athletic man, a fraternity man, a BIG MAN ON CAMPUS such as myself?
I got most of it off, but I was still feeling horribly unfresh and disgustingly damp and dank. I didn't have time to clean myself up as much as I would have liked because, to be frank, I didn't want to be caught butt-naked in the middle of the bathroom cleaning myself. The scrub job that was required was a massive undertaking and I simply didn't have room to do most of it within the narrow confines of the bathroom stalls.
Most of the shit was gone. So I needed to figure out how to look half way decent. I managed to put my red sweater over my legs, using the arms of the sweater as pant-legs. I tied a knot in the place where the neck-hole was, so that my manly equipment didn’t hang through. Then I took the belt off of my pants and used it to tighten the sweater around my waist. I kept my flannel shirt on, and hung the jacket around my sides in the manner people tend to wear them when it is warm outside.
The problem is that it was 10 degrees out and we had two feet of snow on the ground. I folded my khakis and underwear and put them under the garbage bag in the garbage can next to the sink. I was hoping the janitor, if and when he came to take out the trash, would figure out what had happened and would leave them there, out of the kindness of his heart.
Then I heard the class let-out. I heard all my classmates joking and talking and laughing as they came down the hallway. I could hear them through the bathroom doors. Many were talking about my recent dramatic exit and whether they had seen me, inquiring where I had gone and why I had left. I ran into the bathroom stall so that nobody could find me. The last thing I wanted to do was to face my peers or would-be tormentors. Many came into the bathroom and continued the conversation. The first thing many of them said as they entered was "Oh my god. What the fuck died in here? Holy Shit. I think I'm gonna die" and similar such statements. They were too stupid to figure out what had happened and I was safe. For now.
I had been in the bathroom now, for 3 hours. As my classmates took care of business, after class, I occupied myself in the bathroom stall with the Nintendo gameboy I had in my jacket pocket. Tetris was never such a welcome relief as it was that day, I can assure you. Since we were the only class on the first floor of the building meeting that day, I knew I just had to wait until everybody left the hall.
I waited an extra 30 minutes just to be safe and I ran to the classroom with my red sweater-pants on, bolting down the hall faster and more furiously than any member of the SUNY athletic team could ever rival. I ran to my classroom and down the aisle and packed up my backpack and books and spirited out the door. I had no socks on, as they were destroyed and my sneakers and entire crotch and inner-thigh area was still slightly soggy. It caused highly unpleasant chaffing and massive irritation as I was running. This day wasn’t just psychologically humiliating, but it was physically painful as well.
I ran back to the bathroom, which I was now using as sort of a command post. The whole place reaked of total, massive shit. It was the most overpowering fecal odor I had ever encountered. I guess I needed to leave the room first, and then come back into it from outside, to totally understand how nasty it smelled. My pants were still in there and they were stinking the place to high heaven.
I needed to think about what I would do next. As I was doing this, the Janitor came in. He looked at me and smelled the air and the most disgusting look overcame his face. He started to empty out the garbage can. He saw the shitty pants at the bottom of the can, looked up at me in my red sweater-pants and then shook his head as if he was ashamed to even be looking at me, and then rolled his cart away, away from me and my foolishness, his head shaking back and forth all the while. He was mumbling something to himself as well, something about “damn white boy college kids shitting themselves,” or something to that effect. I'm Latino, but whatever. When you're covered in shit, it really doesn't matter, does it?
To make a bad day even worse, I realized I did not have my car keys. I ran back to the classroom and realized they weren’t there, either. I didn’t know if I had dropped them in my haste to get to class, because I was late, or if I had locked them in my car. All I knew was that I was stuck on campus with no pants and no way to get home. I had a few quarters, but how was I going to manage this? I knew I had to call my mom to come and pick me up, but how?
I found a back exit to the building in the basement, the one the maintenance folks use when they unload garbage and dumpsters into garbage trucks, and I left through there. Then I ran about ½ a mile in my bright, fire-engine red sweater pants until I found a payphone, the giant bulbous crotch-knot bobbing up and down like an obscene signal, inviting attention from would be gawkers and perverted onlookers, whose gazes I tried hard to avoid. Fortunately, I didn't know any of them and they were all either upper class commuter students, or faculty/facilities folks.
I couldn't stand the gawks, so I decided to be more discreet, like a ninja, and began to hug the terrain as best as I could, so nobody could see me. I was freezing my ass off. I think I was tearing up. Slightly.
I got to the pay phone, called my mom and tried to just get her to come and get me. She kept asking me all these weird questions and she was just dragging the conversation on and on and on. I just wanted to end the phone call and hide in the bushes. I told her to bring me pants and underwear and socks and she was like, “Why do you need pants? What happened to your pants? Are you ok? Are you on drugs? What’s wrong with you? Why aren’t you wearing any underwear?” I finally convinced her to meet me at a certain place, where there was suitable brush and foliage that I could use for cover as I awaited her.
My mom came and I jumped into the back seat of the car and changed. All was good until we were about to exit campus, when Lauren was at the cross-walk and saw me changing my pants in the backseat of my mother’s car. She put one and two together and my reputation was over. From that time onward, I was known as “Mr. Poopypants” on campus and I was forced to transfer to another school, upstate.
I never drank milk again.