Monday, March 26, 2012
The Story of Human Shit
So I was in Europe over the summer for vacation, a few of my friends that were with me had to go to Germany for a few days for a wedding that I was uninvited from... oh yes, I was uninvited (a first in my life that I am mildly proud of).... probably because I am awesome, but who really knows why I was uninvited. So my friends and I had been in Europe for quite some time by this point and we were all in Amsterdam before splitting up for a few days. I opted to go to Paris 3 days ahead of them so that I could hang out by myself for awhile in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
I am in Paris, having a great time. The weather is gorgeous, I am alone and enjoying my quiet time without the constant chatter that is forever known as Bill and Eric. I'm walking around the city, went to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night. Spent a late evening in The Cathedral of Notre Dame, wandered the gardens in the Musee Rodin pondering Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" while being slightly frightened by his "Gates of Hell" sculpture. Walking along the Seine River, admiring all the padlocks that represent eternal love on the Pont des Arts bridge. Walking through the Jardin des Tuileries and over the bridge to Musee D'Orsay to discover it is closed, and back to Jardin des Tuileries to eat on the lawn under a sculpture. Getting lost in the city on purpose is always my favorite thing to do, I ended up wandering into a residential neighborhood where the locals were buying groceries from a market that was setup in the middle of the street. I have never seen so many huge wheels of cheese covered in mold, it smelled so awful and yet I was enticed to try it because it is Paris and who does not try the cheese in Paris!
After finding my way back toward the city center I was walking down Champs Elysses toward the Arc de Triomphe and realized that there was a letter box near there, so I dig out my directions to it and start looking for it. I discover a tiny monument that is hidden on the side street of Avenue Marceau and I start looking behind it where it is supposed to be, following the clues on the paper that Jennifer had printed out. I am looking in the bush that it says to look in, and I start to smell something awful. I look down and notice that I stepped in dog shit. So I continue to look for about 4 minutes before giving up, grabbing a stick, and sitting my butt on the backside of the little monument that is there. I start scraping the dog poop out of my shoe, and let me tell you... it is caked in there. It is on both shoes, caked in between each crevice, and smelling rotten. I get a better smell of it and realize that is not dog poop... there is no dog on this planet that could have poop that smells that contaminated. I just discovered it is human poop with that keen sense of smell I have.
I sit and scrape out my sneaker bottoms for about 20 minutes with this stick being extra careful to not get the poop on me or touch me, next thing I know my fucking stick breaks and a gob of human shit lands on my thigh, I try to brush it away and it gets smeared into my jeans. It then starts to rain, so I am trying to hold my umbrella up while scraping my shoe out (which I had taken off because it was so compressed within every cranny) with a stick to get as much shit out of it as possible... After about 20 minutes I decide to walk to the Metro and take the subway back to my hotel to change my sneakers and my clothes because by this point, I have human shit all over my jeans and a bit on my hands as well.
I get onto the Metro and all I can smell is human shit, it was so putrid... so I am sitting in my little seat on a jam packed Metro watching commuters on their way home from work and tourists in flip flops (flip flops that would have been much easier to clean than my minimalist running shoe with its 89 individual squares on the bottom of my shoe ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in depth) look around for the source of the shit smell. Eventually all I can do is put my head down and giggle because there really is no point in doing anything else.
I get to my hotel, which has a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower out the window, I jump in the shower fully clothed with my sneakers on too and I start washing with a bar of soap in the hottest water I can stand. After I soaked my sneakers in a scalding hot bath with soap... and let them air dry... those shoes still smelled like shit. Human shit is one of the most disgusting, rotten smells on the planet when it has dried into fabric. They were brand new sneakers, specifically bought for this trip because they could be compressed into a tiny ball which made more room in my backpack, but after that I didn't want them to touch anything else in my backpack.
I thought of this story today because I am feeling like shit about a couple people that are in my life, they are shitty people and I don't want them in my life anymore... but they are so much like this story to me, I couldn't help but compare them. They were supposed to be fun (letterbox) and are fun in the beginning, but in the end I am left standing in a big pile of human shit. I am handling them the same way I handled that, shaking my head while giggling about the situation, sanitizing it, and moving on.