10,000 Words On Shitting.

talia jane
40 min readJun 12, 2019
Credit: https://twitter.com/ShanesWrld/status/1137042496687693830

This is going to be a long read. No, this part isn’t included in the count. At some point, you will want to give up. You’ll wonder what the hell my point is, why you’re reading this, and lastly, why you are alive. It will be self-indulgent, as any 10,000-word piece on a topic is bound to be. But I hope you’ll stick with me, despite my inconsistent use of contractions and my somewhat shaky noun/verb agreement and my frequent use of sentences that list three examples of a thing because for some reason I feel that “wraps it up neatly.” I hope at the end of this, if nothing else, you will applaud me for writing 10,000 words and defying the cishet men who insist that only men can do it. I will admit that in writing this, I definitely hit a few points of realizing that 10,000 words is far too indulgent for any topic that isn’t the first three chapters of a whole fucking book. And without editors, I’m afraid some parts of this are going to wander and snake — not unlike the pipes that chug your shit from your ass to a sanitation plant. This is going to be messy. But the beauty of that is…

There’s nothing neat about shitting. You can try tidying it up all you want with bidets and Poo-pourri and toilets that simulate flushing noises to hide the sound of the bombs you’re dropping. But none of it erases the fact that you are eliminating waste from your body in one way or another, whether that’s in a toilet, a hole in the ground, or a bag attached to your colon. Everybody poops, we know this to be true. Poop is gross. We know this, too.

Throughout my life, I have searched for absolutes. It was my way of reconciling a world that often felt — and is — to be made of nonsense and chaos. Sometimes in darker moments, I remember a particular time when I was six or seven years old. I was trapped on the toilet, after having run out of paper. I called out to my mom who I knew was in the living room watching TV. I asked her to get a roll from under the sink, which was about five feet out of my reach. I called and called out to her. “Moooooom! I need toilet paper!!”

She turned up the volume on the TV. I kept yelling, recognizing the battle at hand and unwilling to give up. She was ignoring me like she always did, but I legitimately needed help and I had vocalized that help as clear as day, so surely she’d have to give in sooner or later. My legs went…