Thursday, October 5, 2023

My cooperative bowels

I have only ever had to leave one movie, in my entire movie-going history, because I had to go #2.

I thought The Creator might be the second.

The infamous first time came during Mulholland Dr. in 2001. I went to see it with my friend PJ, which, incidentally, is the only time I can remember the two of us seeing a movie without anyone else. I think we might have had Mexican beforehand, though whether that had anything to do with it, or was just a coincidence, I don't remember at this point.

I like to joke that this was the reason I didn't get Mulholland Dr. the first time ... sort of still don't, though nowadays I like it despite not getting it. As if missing any one five- to ten-minute period of that film is going to be the key to unlocking it. (Probably closer to five. Even though I was not nearly as obsessed with movies as I am today, I would have been horrified at the prospect of missing any of it, and would have been racing to complete my business as quickly as possible.)

My condition going into The Creator last night did not seem promising. There was a familiar unstable gurgling in my stomach and bowels. I knew what was coming, it was just a matter of when.

And yet I didn't quite have enough time to take care of business before the movie started.

I left my house earlier than I sometimes do, but that meant arriving at the Sun in Yarraville five minutes before showtime, rather than right as the trailers were starting. And the Sun is particularly customer-focused in that it usually plays exactly two trailers, and one two-minute "film" made by a guy who works with the Sun, showcasing some aspect of the community. It's cute and I enjoy watching these films. 

So you really only have maybe six to seven minutes after the scheduled start time before the movie is actually playing. 

If you are going only by the times I listed above -- where I talked about quickly wrapping up my business to get back to Mulholland Dr. -- I probably had the time to do what I needed to do. 

But I never liked to rush a bowel movement, and I like that even less as a nearly 50-year-old. Then there's the fact that for all the Sun does wonderfully, their bathroom is gross. It has to do with maintaining the original bathroom from when the theater first opened more than 80 years ago, but that also means the ventilation is poor and there always seems to be a sheen of urine hanging over everything, its smell quite potent. Not the ideal circumstances for any more than getting in and getting right back out again.

This story has an anti-climax that I already previewed with the title of the post. Despite eating a box of Swedish fish and drinking a Pepsi Max, I was no closer to needing to relieve myself when the movie ended than when it started. In fact, it quite clearly went in the opposite direction, as the gurgling stomach completely calmed itself, the crowning BM climbing further back up into my guts. (Sorry, that was gross, but I couldn't resist. It wasn't really crowning, which is a lot more of an urgent situation.)

In fact, I am only remembering to write this post because it took until 9:30 the next morning, after coffee and cereal, to finally do this business that I thought might become impossible to suppress as early as 9 o'clock last night.

So if there's a difference between the me of now and the me of 2001, I think it might be bowel maturity. I have noticed that I almost never have to take a shit in a situation where it's highly inconvenient for me to do so, and then it will suddenly become incredibly urgent at the exact time that all the necessary creature comforts in terms of time and facilities are available to me.

There may be no greater example than watching a movie. In the theater is the greatest potential danger, of course, since you have no way to pause, and will inevitably lose some of your experience. But I don't think I can even recall a time at home when I was watching something and had to stop to run off and take care of my needs. It's like movies just complete anesthetize my bowels.

Oh, and unfortunately, I didn't really care for The Creator, and I found it overly long, so having missed part of it wouldn't have been a significant detriment. (Though maybe I would have wondered if I'd missed the best part while I was gone.) Here's my full review in case you're interested. 

And with that, I return you to reading about less gross things. 

No comments: