Sometimes when I'm driving I study other drivers and imagine what their lives are like. The soccer moms, young Marines, Mardi-Gras beads on the rear-view mirror kind of girls... As I drove through town today I noticed a small rust-covered hatchback which seemed to sag under the weight of its occupants. Inside the car were four adults; two men and two women. There was literally a dark cloud of gloom around this car. The passengers were all significantly overweight, with acne scars, greasy hair and lips curled around yellowed cigarettes. The woman in the passenger seat looked over at me with an empty gaze as she took a long drag off her Camel Light. These were people who gave off the vibe of unhappiness. These were people who's lives I really don't like to imagine.
Can you guess where these people were headed?
Their mecca, their beacon...Wal-Mart.
Fact. Wal-Mart is one of the most depressing places on the planet. However, today I really didn't have much choice. I needed the odd variety of items that only Wal-Mart has under one roof. I sped through the store grabbing what I needed and tried to remain optimistic about life. Aidin stopped at the end of an aisle and did the potty dance, so I took a detour from the registers to take him to the bathroom. People...this is when things got real ugly.
Upon walking into the ladies restroom I was first struck by the worst stench I've EVER smelled in my life. I was then struck by the sight of a half-naked woman. This woman was totally nude from the waist down. N-U-D-E. Not only that, but her bottom half was covered in shit. (I'm sorry, graphic, I know, but I had to LIVE THIS.) It is an image that will be burned into my psyche for the rest of time. I tried to back out but Aidin had already ran into a stall.
I was trapped. In a Wal-Mart bathroom. With Shits McGee.
I ventured one sideways glance just to make sure she wasn't advancing on me, but she was occupied scrubbing poop from a pair of large ladies underwear.
"I'm embarrassed, but what can you do? I gotta get it out before it sets in!" she said.
Apparently she had finished with her pants, which were already wrapped in paper towels and draped over the sink. She continued to casually chat with me as I wheezed in desperation, begging Aidin through the door to pee quick, willing myself not to pass out, praying to a God who, if allowed to live I would serve for the rest of my life. Time seemed to slow to a halt.
We managed to escape that day with only psychological scars to bear. We were the lucky ones.