Traveler’s Diarrhea

23 Sep

red worms of maguey on tortilla

Woke up on the toilet. Forehead against the edge of the bathtub. I was dreaming about the Red Worms of Maguey. We ate them out by the pyramids, they were a specialty of the restaurant. Some kind of Aztec staple. In the dream, of course, they came to life and squirmed around on the beans and the authentic® blue corn tortilla. Raised little blind heads at me, waved pincers. I had a bath drawn. It had gone cold. I got in it anyway. Had to wash out my ass. I couldn’t wipe it anymore. My asshole and the inside of my crack were swollen. Pulpy. Touching them felt like picking up a rotten beached jellyfish half baked in the sun. Toilet paper felt like Freddy Krueger fingerfucking my colon. I climbed into the bath. Shivered. I fell asleep again. Bad dreams. Woke up, my skin felt like a dead man’s. Little chunks of brick red shit in the water. Cat hair from when I was writhing around on the rug. I had to shit again, bad, and the water was already fucked up. Why not just let go. No. Have some dignity man.

Back on the toilet. It felt like a cork was stopping me up. I was hunched over from belly pain. Had to straighten up so the sluice could get out. Always the same: felt like I was about to drop a regulation football but it was a little acid trickle and a pencil eraser sized chunk of what appeared to be raw ground beef. It was like that for eighteen hours. When it started there were colors. I had made a meal. Top round roast, rare, with Worcestershire sauce. Roasted shallots, carrots, Brussels sprouts. Nice Merlot. The grape has a bad rep but just get one that’s at least five years old. Make sure you drink red wine before you get traveler’s diarrhea. The blue color in the grape skins makes the hot liquid brine that sprays out of your ass look like those crazy mineral pools at Yellowstone. Green leaves, red meat, yellow bile. Blue moons, purple horsehoes. I shat a rainbow. I was in awe. It hurt bad but this shit will never be topped. I say this as someone with many proud moments as a shitwizard. Later it just turned into boring chunks of my guts and stomach fluids.

I was reading The World’s Most Dangerous Places by Robert Young Pelton. It’s about traveling to parched deserts, hissing jungles, visiting with machete-wielding rebels and terrorists. Every chapter would send me on a weird half-dream about some third world hell. I hadn’t slept. I kept passing out. I would read the book and then dream that I was reading the book. Couldn’t see words but I remembered images. They brought me back to Mexico City. Pungent hog organs I ate in a street taco. Cisterns on top of buildings; that’s where they get the water from. I could see inside. Quivering swarms of mosquito larvae; amoebas. I was careful not to drink the water. But I brushed my teeth with it. I rinsed out glasses with it before pouring in the bottled water I’d carefully purchased. I approached the whole thing with a medieval understanding of disease, in other words. I was an idiot. I’d been proud of myself, too. Did you get sick, people asked. Haha, no. I’ve got guts like a billy goat. Turns out it just takes a week.

Every half hour it felt like someone was pinching under my navel. And then it spread, that sour feeling of cramps, and I would have to get up and shit again. I gave up wiping my ass. Washing it. I just picked a pair of pants and said fuck it. Nikol, they are the red pants from your Santa Claus costume that I borrowed. Sorry.

I’m better now, I think. Look to have lost about ten pounds. Most of it must be water squeezed out of my kidneys. They hurt. But for once, I look ripped. I stood from the can after the last fistful of thrashing stinging bees screamed out of my ravaged ass. Caught a glimpse of the mirror. My pecs were striated.  Obliques fully visible. Deltoids rippling in the dawn like a D list actor gaying it up on the cover of Men’s Health.

Man, I thought. I look fucking great. I should do this more often.

11 Responses to “Traveler’s Diarrhea”

  1. Ariseandexcel September 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    In conclusion: five stars.

  2. jakeface September 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    anthony bourdain’s secret blog

  3. Little Miss S September 24, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    Yeah, I’ve never looked hotter than the week I spent puking and pooping after getting salmonella poisoning in 08 from that nationwide peanut butter epidemic. I got sooo much positive attention, and my True Religion jeans (omg, remember when those were trendy??) were hanging off of me. At least you didn’t have it coming from both ends!

  4. L. Roy Aiken September 24, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    After adding “twerk” to the Oxford English Dictionary, we now have “shitwizard.” Which might also describe certain Disney child stars turned into squicky slutbags with bad hair.

  5. TheCoolah September 25, 2013 at 12:25 am #

    I almost pooped my own pants when I read this:

    Nikol, they are the red pants from your Santa Claus costume that I borrowed.

    • nikolhasler September 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      Godfuckingdammit, I knew I was never getting my fucking Santa Clause costume back. First some stupid girl stole one of my bras from DTs drawer, now he’s just giving away my Santa pants.

  6. aneroidocean September 25, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    haha so fun to read, only because I’ve experienced at least part of that asshole punishment

  7. mothersmurfer September 29, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    If you were going to stay in-country, the trick is to just get it over with. None of that bottled water business. Because you can’t be ever vigilant. Everybody forgets that, of course, the restaurant’s ice cubes are of tap water. Or that you’re showering and brushing your teeth in the local water. You WILL be exposed to the local bugs. That’s why short trips outside the 1st world are a bad idea. Make it an expedition. Just try not to die of dehydration when your body is trying to shit itself to death.

    • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn October 5, 2013 at 8:24 am #

      I didn’t get sick when I went to Cabo San Lucas. But that’s Cabo San Lucas, not Mexico City. They probably have a water pipeline directly to California to accommodate all the tourists.


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