This is an unpublished story I wrote over three years ago. I had high hopes when I wrote it, but never found anyone with enough nutsack to publish it, so here it is. I wrote this in satire of the claims that the image of Jesus or Mary magically appeared on toast, screen doors or window condensation, and the people who revere such coincidences or profit from them.
If you like it, please share. If it offends you, tell me why in a comment. If it offends you so badly you want to kill me – I live in Columbia. My real name is Juan, I am a one-armed coffee bean picker from a long line of one-armed coffee bean pickers.
by Mitch Lavender
I never thought of myself as a religious man, but some paths are just chosen for us. It felt like it, anyway. I think the first step down my predestined path started with a simple statement.
You can’t get a hangover from clear alcohol.
That’s what Jake said, and it was a hypothesis we felt deserved consideration and severe testing. Yes, we could have looked this up on the Internet but we were already at the bar. Besides, a theory of this magnitude needed to be confirmed first hand, didn’t it?
I awoke the next morning, lying on my bed and still fully clothed. Rolling over and curling into a fetal position facing opposite of the light that streamed in around the blinds, I forced myself back into slumber beneath the throb in my skull.
I awoke later. I don’t know how long I had slept but it wasn’t long enough. My head still pounded and my gut churned. If my bladder had not been the verge of bursting, I would have stayed in bed. Staggering to the bathroom, I stood in front of the toilet and pissed for an unreasonably long time. Pissing like a racehorse, as the saying goes; I feared the toilet might overflow and flushed it, mid-pee, without stopping. And man, did my head hurt.
With a drained bladder, I felt marginally more sober. Stumbling two steps over to the sink, I squirted some toothpaste on my finger and rubbed it around on my teeth and inside my mouth, trying to get out the taste of something dying in there. Then I saw the note.
Written in lipstick on the mirror was: “I’m done with you, LOSER.”
A love note from my girlfriend, Julie; she had a way with words. I guessed my coming home drunk again was one too many times for her. I needed to take a crap.
I hadn’t pulled my pants up from my piss, so I shuffled back over to the toilet and lowered the seat, sitting down hard and propping my elbows on my knees, laying my head in my hands. I had to fix things with Julie, already imagining the uncomfortable approach to her parent’s house with a bundle of flowers, her father opening the door and telling me she doesn’t want to see me. I evacuated my bowels and it felt really good; like I was expunging myself, purging myself. With each plop in the toilet I felt cleaner and more wholesome even though I knew I stunk of bar smoke, alcohol and was that puke on my shoe? My head almost stopped hurting.
Getting up from the basin, I undressed and started the shower. When the water warmed enough, I got in and let the showerhead wash the residue of the night before from my skin.
Leaning against the shower wall, I vaguely remembered Julie saying something before slamming the door. She had said a lot of things but the short sentences surfaced: “No job. No life. No girlfriend!” Had I imagined it?
I grabbed the bar of soap and rubbed it over myself, the scent of cloves and mint. Julie always bought sissy-smelling soaps. It made me think of her and that she was gone. I felt sick again, and after a couple of dry heaves, vomited in the shower. Stepping back, I let my sick wash down the drain.
After I stepped out and toweled off, I felt pretty good and awake. Maybe there was something to the clear alcohol theory, after all.
Realizing I hadn’t flushed, I went over to the toilet and grabbed the handle. It was one of those moments where I could have just flushed without looking, but I did. It’s a weird thing I have always done; look at the crap first. I did the same thing when I blew my nose. I would open the Kleenex to see what came out. Not like I expected it to be gold or anything, but just wanted to see, you know?
Floating there in the yellow water of the basin was a crap-cross. The cross-member was one shorter turd laid across a longer one, but it was clearly a cross. Then I saw the third turd and gasped. It was the face of a bearded man, a halo over his head, made of flecked corn.
It was Jesus.
I don’t know how long I stared down in the toilet, admiring the detail of the Christ-turd; the eyes cast upwards, the peanut nose, the beard and the corn-flecked halo. I took my hand from the handle and backed away, bumping into the wall.
Someone else has to see this!
Knocking at the door across the hall, I called out, “Hello! Hello? Are you home?”
Madison opened the door. She was a brunette with brown eyes and was incredibly hot. The sort of girl who wears a heavy sweater and you could still see her nipple bumps. I had only said niceties to her as we passed in the hallway. She was out of my league, but now I had a mission; a higher purpose.
“Hi! Can you look at something in my bathroom? I’d be eternally grateful.”
She was puzzled but said, “Alright. Is something the matter?”
“I don’t know. Maybe something is very right, but I need a second opinion.” I grabbed her by the hand and pulled her into my apartment and to my bathroom. We stood in the small room for a second with her looking a little frightened. “Look in the toilet.”
She didn’t step towards the basin but leaned over a little. “Gross!”
“No, look. Really look.” I insisted, pulling her towards the toilet.
She looked down and paused. “Oh my god.” Then she crossed herself. She looked up at me with wide eyes and asked, “You did this?”
“Yeah!” I said proudly.
Before I knew it, other tenants were in my apartment, wanting to see The Miracle in my bathroom. After almost an hour, the crowds had not dissipated. Other people from the street came up to see. They took pictures and videos, uploading them to Facebook and YouTube from their phones. Then the Father showed up.
Apparently, someone had called a Catholic priest to come see my bowel movement. He shoved his way past the others, entering my bathroom. All chatter in the room fell silent and then we heard him uttering some prayers in Latin. They were beautiful, though I didn’t understand any of it. When he emerged, he came over to me.
“You did this thing, My Son?”
“It is a miracle! Images of The Christ have been seen in rocks, screen doors or condensation on windows, but nothing like this. The face of our Lord is clear, and the cross makes it that much more significant!”
I nodded. “Okay.”
“This is different from those events. This came from within you – from inside. You are a holy man,” he said, taking my hand and kissing it.
In two days, the YouTube video went viral with over a million hits. That’s when the agents started calling me. I let the Father have my “Divine Bowel Movement” and he coated it with some clear acrylic to preserve the form before sending it to Vatican City. Imagine that – the Pope would see my poop.
When I signed with an agent, she got me an appearance on several TV talk shows and a few radio shows. The acting coaches had taught me how to deliver the lines the writers had written for me to say and I think I did alright. I loved the new wardrobe of Armani suits and the evenings out with famous people. I started dating Paris Hilton and then I traded up to Scarlett Johansen when my agent said Paris was too trashy. I was definitely in demand. The interview with People Magazine went great and I got walk-on parts on Grey’s Anatomy and Two and a Half Men. After 3 months, the Vatican was still silent about the divine origins of my excrement but my agent said it was time to step up my game and use my power to better mankind.
As I stared up at the 2016 campaign billboard, I swelled with pride. I looked so humble and yet inspired in the picture, my name splayed underneath the image next to slogan: “He gives a shit.”
Just think – had I flushed, none of this would have happened.
© 2010, 2013 Mitch Lavender