Or do you? Is it just every woman I know who doesn’t? I’ll be out with a girl. A real she-bro with whom I can talk honestly. She’ll remark that she has to take a shit. An odd choice, the “social hours” shit– the wise person knows to train his body for the morning one-two punch: shit/shower. If your schedule is off, sleep holding it in. Let your bowels marinate a fuming hot sauce log. Suffer dreams of goblins gutting you with hot knives. With one night’s pain you reset the clock. You buy the ultimate human achievement: blissful ass purge followed by the hot womb of the steam. Every day. A perfectly clean asshole. Think of it like beating jet lag.
But anyway, a girl will say she has to shit. I’ll wait for her outside the can. One minute later she emerges. Ah, I say. You opted to just piss and wait for a home toilet. I like your moves.
No, she says. I took a shit.
A shit! In one minute! A rushed rabbit shit. A third world peasant shit, squatting over a hole in a war zone. Even if we’re not out. Even in her home, it takes one minute. How is this possible, I say. Don’t you read in there? Don’t you draw it out a little, so all the shit gets purged from your ass?
Blank stare. What? Read?
Yes! READ! Men, you know of what I speak. Life is hard. Drudgery. Loneliness. Agony. Death. But every day there is one bright window through which the light of a loving God shines. The donut seat warming to your ass. The first trumpet of a fart. The hot stinging hulk shambling through your bowels. The clean rustle of pages as you crack open your shitbook. The wise man has selected only the best material. Never trust a man with bad books on his toilet tank. Charles Bukowski. Michel Houellebecq. The Bible. The World’s Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton– the ne plus ultra of shitbooks. Joan Didion essays. Alice Munro stories if you want to get emotional. The dreadnaught spears through your asshole and launches. Torpedo in the water. The splash. Cold mist kisses your taint. Your mind perks up. Opens. Truth and insight rush in like kids on Christmas morning.
It doesn’t have to be first thing. Some men prefer the workshit. I do not endorse this but I understand it. The man who workshits is reclaiming his humanity, for a brief breath of his oppressed day. He is saying: I am not a machine. I am a man. No indignity can take this from me. On his 50 foot walk with newspaper in hand, he is McQueen leaping the fence on the Triumph. He too will draw his shit out, for freedom. I don’t endorse, but I understand. You sacrifice a sparkling clean asshole. But you get: yeah I’m taking a shit, bossman, and you are paying me for it. And what I’m about to deliver is professional grade.
In any case, he is reading. The bold man walks to the work shitter with newspaper proudly in hand. Not all of us have this hero’s courage. But fear not! In this golden age your phone, smaller than a cassette tape, contains more knowledge than the Library of Alexandria. Open Wikipedia. Study the Dead Sea Scrolls. Explore the sex lives of Pygmies. Journey into the strange past of Willem Dafoe. The world of learning lies before you. Even the guy shitting in the Port-o-San at the music festival as hippies pound on the doors: he’s reading in there. To do otherwise would be sacrilege.
But no woman I’ve ever known reads while she shits.
Our anatomy is different, you say. It’s just a body function for us. Men like to shit because of the prostate. You have a gland in there that pleases you when something rubs it. No. I know sexual ass pleasure. I know the feeling of a college girl’s spat upon pinky grinding my colon as her other hand twirls on my meatpipe. This is not it. I am not getting reverse sodomized by my own log. If shit hit my prostate that hard I’d be spraying loads every time I dropped a deuce. How dare you profane the spiritual joy of a shit by comparing it to a mere sex act.
It’s not sexual. It’s that shitting is good for your body. Therefore your body makes it feel good. Women, does it not? If no, a cruel God has cheated you. You truly are a stunted sex, and your flesh is punishment. The old religions were right. You are chattel, property. No better than the beasts of the fields, and your rights should be accorded thusly.
This cannot be so. But it sure seems like you don’t enjoy it. Like you don’t even think about it. I remember when Oprah had a special episode with a shit doctor for a guest. It is important, Oprah told America, to look in the bowl after you shit. See if your stools are healthy. Whatever men were watching were aghast. This was like saying: it’s important to give your children food, and water. You mean you weren’t already? When my shit is done, when the last jagged scraps of once-burrito are ready to mingle with Osama’s ashes, OF COURSE I fucking look. I nod reverentially. Say a few lines from Ozymandias. Flush proudly. Solemnly. Know that this day I have at least made one great thing.
A healthy shit sets a tone for your body. All day it will perform as nature intended. The words you read while you shit set a tone for your mind. It is only when the two align that you commune with the spirit. What do you do with such a gift? You expand it. Draw it out. Gather as much understanding as you can. Lean in and convulse until the last dingleberry is expurged. For a few shining moments, you are free. Why do you take so long in there, you say. I shake my head. Savage creature, how could you not understand.
I choose to believe that this is not a biological difference. That your oppression is not cast in stone. I choose to believe we can shit together as equals. And we must. While my sisters are not free, I am not free. Take my hand, Rosie the Shit Riveter. Take up a copy of Gillian Flynn or whateverthefuck you’re into. Open your ass. Open your mind. Join me.