Once upon a time, I would hang out in a cafe in Michigan where I could obtain a constant flow of free beverages. I would stay there for several hours, if the day allowed. While this put a major hurting on their supply of lemonade, it opened up several horrifying experiences for me. Whether it was the day that I counted seventeen teenagers/old women (dressing hip in the hopes that someone wouldn’t realize they are eighty) wearing those fucking fur boots, or the time an overweight mentally handicapped individual was a mere foot away from my face and “dancing” to whatever shitty song was playing, I have seen some times at that store. Most of the people I have encountered are nothing short of insane, such as the lady who insisted that I keep living in Michigan because one day it will be “the only state that has water.”
Some were pretty cool though, like a fellow I talked to on a few occasions. Even though he told me a lot about his childhood, college days, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, I still considered him a stranger. I mean we were never going to go hang out at the bar or sit around the television and pull for whatever Michigan team wasn’t a complete failure (aside from hockey). I’m not completely sure if he viewed me as a stranger too. I’m unsure of this because of a particular conversation we shared. It was that kind of conversation you could never prepare yourself for or really predict you would get into over the course of the day. Some topics just seem like safe topics around strangers in that you know you won’t be discussing them. Someone probably isn’t going to want to talk about religion with a person they don’t know. A man probably isn’t going to start a talk about their family problems with a stranger. Someone isn’t going to just openly discuss their wife and her horrific shitting problems with a total and complete stranger either.
Yes… well two out of three of those topics are still sacred.
Normally I would sit in the far corner on my laptop with headphones on. I wouldn’t be listening to anything, but it usually kept people from thinking it was okay to talk to me and if someone did talk to me I would just act like I didn’t hear them. This guy did not subscribe to this logic. Honestly, I think I was dealing with either a true social rebel or a man who was insane yet rich enough to just be labeled “a tiny bit eccentric.” He started to walk up to me on this fateful day, so I just took my headphones off. I did like to speak with him on occasion because he was a really interesting guy for the most part. He sat down and I could immediately see that he was breathing a bit heavy. I didn’t question it, I figured he will tell me why soon enough.
He began to tell me why.
Apparently he literally ran out of his home just a few minutes prior to arriving. I knew from previous conversation that he had knee, shoulder, hip, and other assorted aches and pains, so I know if he was running then it was for a good reason. So I asked if everything was okay, as he still seemed genuinely flustered and had an almost shell-shocked look to him. He leaned in close (which I’m surprised he decided to do that much) and began to tell me about his day. Woke up too early, helped his daughter find a car, wife had uncontrollable shits and was crying so he ran out of the house… you know, the usual. The thing was, he spoke about it like it was just another everyday event that didn’t really need to be discussed further. In fact, if my jaw hadn’t dropped upon hearing it, I don’t think he would have said anything else about it. But since he could see that I was a bit confused, shocked, and trying very hard not to erupt into a fit of laughter that would stay with me for the rest of my days, he went on to explain.
It seems his wife had been ill for a few days. She was feeling sick to her stomach the night before, and was up in the middle of the night vomiting. After getting very little sleep, my friend woke up that morning to see his wife pretty much in the same condition. Apparently an hour or so after waking up, his wife finally decided to try to get out of bed. She immediately started clutching her stomach and doubling over in pain. This was a sign of things to immediately come, as just a few moments later — well I think my friend said it all when he stated:
“It started coming out of both ends.”
Apparently when faced with his wife vomiting and shitting all over their no-doubt expensive bedroom carpet, this individual figured that the best thing to do was run like hell. He ran out of the house, into his car, and immediately to this coffee shop to nurse away his pain on a coffee and newspaper. At this point I didn’t know whether I was dealing with the front-runner for Worst Husband of the Year, or someone who was being completely reasonable. What do you do when your significant other starts ejecting their waste in stereo? Do you stay? If you stay, what do you do? I highly doubt you are going to get close to them, hold them and tell them it will be okay, all the while you feel a warmth running both down your back and over your shins. So you’d either stay in the background or go to another room. If you are in another room, what good are you? Might as well be a mile or two down the road at a local coffee shop sharing the story with someone you’ve known a total of two hours at best. I couldn’t blame the guy, and I also couldn’t hold in my laughter much longer.
His description of his wife didn’t help. She was a very small and thin woman, and very proud. This set off explosions of laughter in my mind. The thought of this frail woman, doubled over as her pride is leaving her almost as quickly as the poo and vomit she is now showering in. She probably used to think she was better than everyone else, but the mud-bath on her her feet told her a different story.
So I laughed. He laughed too. We both sat there and laughed about his wife, who may or may not at this point in time have been dead for all we knew. I’ve heard that there are some things you feel that you can only tell a stranger and I guess your spouse having spasms of violent waste-removal via the mouth and anus is one of those.
She did call him after a while, and I could hear the crying over the phone. Reluctantly, he finished his drink and shuffled out the door, informing me that he was probably going to spend the day digging the carpet-shampooer out of the closet… so she could clean it up later that day.
So yeah, maybe he was back to being the Worst Husband of the Year.