WordPress.com does a daily writing prompt. Today, the word is “relax.” I got a bit creative.
Andy has been having a rough week. He’s a junior at UC Berkeley, studying electrical engineering. He’s grown accustomed to the overwhelming onslaught of assignments each of his professors fling at him around finals time, but this semester is… It’s just something else. It would be wonderful if they communicated with each other about projects and the like, so that way he could study for finals, finish these assignments, and do that sleeping thing—you know, that thing that people used to do before there was technology. But it ain’t gonna happen.
See, Andy has a greater issue than his schoolwork. Well, his schoolwork plays a part in the issue, but is by no means the main contributor. Andy was born with funky gut. At a young age, his mother discovered that he required very simple foods in order to make it through the day comfortably. Like a super vegan, in a way. To top it all off, his finicky digestive system didn’t want to make friends with any sort of medicines. If he took anything in pill, powder, or syrup form, his bowels would give out on him fairly quickly, and continue such a procedure for a few days.
Andy was struggling with studying for finals this year, as things began demanding more time than he was accustomed to submitting to his studies. Carson, Andy’s friend, had a suggestion. “Have you heard of Adderall?” he asked Andy.
“Yeah man, but I’ve been hesitant to try it.” Andy shifted his gaze to the floor. “My body doesn’t do the best with stuff like that.”
“Oh dude that sucks! This stuff would make finals a fucking breeze!”
“Well,” Andy admitted, “it’s not like it’s impossible for me to take them… Are they really that good?”
“Have this one. Just give it a shot if you wanna, and let me know if you want more. I can get whatever you need.” Carson replied.
Andy held his left hand out in front of him, as Carson dropped a circular, orange pressed pill into it. They exchanged a quick glance and Andy flashed a nervous smile as he weighed the risk of digestive disaster in trade for the mental relief of having finals taken care of. “Fuck it,” he thought. “YOLO!” As he walked back to his dorm, Andy tossed the pill into his mouth and washed it down with a bout of hysterical laughter at his indifferent disregard of the future.
He wanted to test the effectiveness of this stuff, so he sat down to study electromagnetic waves. That was by far his most challenging course, and the final would be overly taxing. Time dissolved as he ran through the material, writing the information into his brain comparable to the permanence of a diamond etching in a plate of glass. He glanced up at the clock when his stomach began to grumble, and grinned from ear to ear when he saw that two and a half hours had blown by! His incoming toilet trips were well worth the sacrifice for this miracle drug. Four hours in, he hopped up to sit on the throne for the first time, cheering to himself as his bowels emptied themselves into the bowl below him.
As he was walking back to his desk, he recalled an event that took place two weeks ago. The excited look he had been wearing slid off of his face with the same fluidity as his recent bowel movement. Two weeks ago he was in the library brushing up on thermodynamics, when a beautiful blonde girl sat down next to him. Girls don’t sit down next to you in a library unless they want their presence to be known. As the smell of her fruity shampoo floated from her hair and into his nostrils, his mind began conjuring a way to strike conversation. Funny how the mind works. He was still sorting through the possible ways to ask for her name when he noticed his mouth saying “what are you studying?” Shit. Someone opened the curtains on the stage and Andy was caught in the spotlight in his underwear.
“Signals and systems,” she replied, quickly showing Andy her crystal blue eyes before darting back to the book in front of her. “It’s really getting the best of me. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pass.”
Jackpot. Andy aced signals and systems last semester. It didn’t really matter what she didn’t understand, he was confident that he could explain it to her quickly enough to not hinder his own study time. Plus, potential date opportunity! “I just finished that class, so it’s really fresh in my mind. Do you want some help?” he asked.
Rachel turned to face him, smiling with a sweetness that ignited a fire inside Andy’s chest. She had the most amazing smile; a set of porcelain white teeth were outlined with thin lips that curved ever so slightly higher up on the left side, causing almost a wink in her left eye. When she witnessed Andy’s face shift from general inquisition to insatiable desire, she knew he was playing the same game she was. “Sure,” she replied with a light airy voice. “What’s your name, anyways?”
And so it began. Rachel discussed signals and systems with Andy just long enough to find herself deeply interested in Andy’s mind. He was a brilliant man, and good-looking to boot. They moved on from their work to talk about more personal interests for a brief moment, but Andy caught the change in conversation. He pulled his phone out and checked the time, snapping his head up towards her with wide eyes. “Crap! I have to go. Look, it was really great chatting with you; can I get your number?”
“Uh, yeah of course.” Rachel fumbled a bit with her words as she gave her number. Andy jotted it down, then said a quick goodbye before heading out of the library. Fast forward two days, and he called her up, asking if she wanted to meet for dinner. They agreed on meeting Tuesday. He would pick her up in front of her apartment at six.
Andy was walking back to his desk after his most recent toilet debacle, and glanced at the clock. He had been studying electromagnetic waves since noon. It was four thirty in the afternoon. Four thirty on a Tuesday. “There’s something important today, but I can’t qui— Shit!” He had completely forgotten of his date with Rachel. Not only had he completely forgotten about it, he was now strapped to a toilet seat for the next three days or so due to his negligence of his body with the ingestion of Adderall. He wasn’t going to bail on meeting her; that would likely ruin the chance of them hanging out again. But man, how was he going to entertain her through dinner, and who knows what else, with him having to make bathroom passes every couple of hours?
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Andy had never experimented with medicines to combat his explosive diarrhea, but this time was different. His mind raced, searching for any possible opportunity to remedy his poop problem. He didn’t have much time. Throwing on a pair of semi-clean slacks and a button up shirt, Andy hurried to his car. It was going to be a hail mary, but maybe he could find something at the drug store that would help him make it through this. Maybe, just maybe, if he took a laxative…. Maybe he wouldn’t have anything to poop out. It was worth a shot, anyways.
It was in a brown bottle. Suiting, for the purpose it served. “Re-Lax,” Andy chuckled as he read the label to himself. “We are so confident that you will be satisfied with Re-Lax products, we guarantee it.” His stomach grumbled in acceptance of what would happen next. He took the brown bottle to the counter, paid for it, then immediately took a few swigs of the creamy liquid inside. It tasted like a botched attempt at cotton candy. According to the label, he had about forty-five minutes until this stuff took effect, hopefully causing his bowels to vacate everything imaginable before he would meet up with Rachel.
It was a waiting game. He sat in his car outside of a gas station, listening quietly to his abdomen emit sounds similar to dropping rocks in a bucket of paint. Every so often, cramps would double him over in pain, lasting anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes. “Maybe I’m going to birth my large intestine,” he thought. Making fun of the situation was helping slightly to distract himself from the waves of pain. He was starting to regret the decision to meet this girl, considering it may have been a better idea to ride out the colon torture and meet her another day. The pain was growing worse and he still had no urge to use the john. Fifteen minutes until he was to meet Rachel outside her apartment downtown.
When Andy pulled up in front of her apartment complex, there were bullets of sweat running down his face, despite the windows of his car being down for fart ventilation in the middle of a February. He had been farting something unspeakable on the drive over, and the cramps were almost constant now. Something was definitely going wrong. A trip to the toilet didn’t happen, leaving him in a precarious situation that he wasn’t sure how to handle. He couldn’t fart with her in the car. Nope, that would automatically ruin what chance he had at a future with her. Plus, his farts were growing increasingly questionable, requiring detailed attention to his colon to decipher whether each one would be more generous than a fart. He sent Rachel a text, letting her know he was outside.
She replied almost instantly. As he read it, his mouth fell open. “Could you come up? I’m not gonna be ready for a bit.” He knew what she had planned, and erupted in laughter as his twisted mind painted a mental picture. It wasn’t the first time a woman has played this move. The last time this happened, the girl he was dating wasn’t taking forever to get ready; she was already dressed for her evening, wearing red silk lingerie with lace trim. In that scenario, it took ten minutes of talk before they were rolling around naked on each other in her bed.
But last time, Andy wasn’t about to have a volcanic eruption from his rectum. As he parked his car and started walking up the stairs to her door, He remembered the Adderall exchange with Carson. “Yolo,” he muttered as a smirk widened on his lips. It didn’t matter to him anymore if he impressed this girl. All that mattered was making it count, one way or the other. If he left without her interests, then at least he better have a shitty story for his friends…