Even as I pulled out of the parking lot I knew I was in trouble. With three deliveries I would be on the road for about a half hour. I doubted I had that much time. The cramping in my gut told me I didn’t. But I had a job to do, and these people needed hot pizza. The bathroom would just have to wait.
I shot out onto the main street through town, weaving through the slower traffic. Winter had long ago settled in and remnants of a recent snow still littered the streets. My heater was cranked to full blast, my radio was pumping sports talk. I passed my house and briefly considered running in, but with three deliveries in the car there was no way. I tightened my grip on the wheel, grit my teeth and tried to focus on the radio.
The first delivery took less than five minutes. I pulled into the driveway under a steel grey sky and handed a nice looking family their dinner. I was glad for a decent tip, but more glad to be standing upright. My stomach was really hurting now and being bent in half with a seat-belt digging into my gut was not suiting me.
As I headed out to my second house things were looking bad. I started thinking about my options in an emergency type situation. What businesses could I stop in? Nothing was on the way. I didn’t see asking a customer if I could use their bathroom as a possibility. I couldn’t even imagine. But when your faced with the alternative… I started considering the remote areas nearby. Perhaps I could find a nice patch of woods? It’s good enough for bears.
The second delivery made it on time. In my mind the people who received it said to each other, “Did that guy seem sick to you? Or was he just a jerk?”, “No there was something wrong with him, and he walked like he had a stick up his ass.”
I started towards the third stop. I was almost done and had decided to tough it out. I shot down country roads at over sixty miles per hour. My body had progressed past the stage of discomfort and I had started to sweat and get emotional. Every second seemed like an hour. I started a conversation with myself which is a habit I have when things are getting bad.
“Oooh I’m not gonna make it.”
“Yes you will, you can do it, stop thinking about it!”
I tried all the tricks, bouncing, deep breathing, strategic flexing, and of course begging my body like it was some sort of third-party who was cruelly torturing me. “Why are you doing this! Please stop! If you just wait ten minutes I’ll give you anything you want!” But my guts kept twisting, and the pressure in my abdomen was getting unbearable.
I entered the upscale neighborhood like the cops were after me. I kept one eye on the addresses and one eye on the road. The last thing I needed was an accident. “Yes officer, I saw everything, he was bouncing up and down and panting like a dog. He was sweating horribly and having a conversation with himself. I don’t know what he was on but something was wrong, that’s for sure.”
Finally I saw it. A large beautiful home up on a hill. I whipped into the driveway, slammed on the breaks and threw it in park. In one motion I opened the door and leapt out, pizza bag in hand. Believe it or not things took a turn for the worse. I had parked on a steep incline which also happened to be covered in ice. My feet shot backwards and I had to grab onto my driver’s side door to keep from falling and sliding all the way to the bottom of the driveway. Now I found myself hanging from my door, feet scrambling ineffectively on the ice. My efforts didn’t help me get myself upright but instead served to dislodge my car from its precarious position and start it sliding backwards and turning sideways. Now I was actually in danger of my car sliding over top of me if I fell. Lucky my buttocks were squeezed so tight. I think it gave me the power I needed to launch myself back into the car, where it only took a minute to get my myself upright and into the seat. Somehow I had managed to hold onto my keys.
I pulled out of the driveway, and then back in. This time I made sure to pull all the way up to where the driveway became horizontal. I approached the front door trembling with embarrassment and pain. My face was shiny with sweat. I prayed that they hadn’t seen my little show out front. I got lucky. I had to ring the bell to get someone. At least something went right, but I don’t want to think about the state of that pizza by the time they got the box open.
My little adventure on the ice is actually what saved me. For a brief second I gave my body a flash of danger and it’s adrenaline fueled response seemed to shut down my less important waste disposal system. At least I made it back to the store. Plus it really seemed to make my coworkers day when I blew through the back door and sprinted to the bathroom. Their laughing was only further fueled by my impromptu biological symphony. Luckily we were all close friends. But let’s be honest, I could have done without it.