This week I farted in my Pilates instructor’s face.
My bum was raised on a foam cylinder, my shoulders on the floor with arms splayed either side of me, and my legs horizontal up in the air. We were told to raise our arses off of the foam cylinder by contracting our lower stomach muscles to propel ‘up’. Alessandro made it look easy. It wasn’t.
He watched me for a moment, laughed, and then came to assist.
The instructor stood at my raised legs, holding on to my feet and helping me move ‘up’. Once, twice, three times, and then he pushed me to lift higher with more force. As my legs went up and my stomach muscles contracted, and I was exhaling and inhaling and translating, the biggest- and loudest- flurry of air ever to have flurried anywhere in the history of flurrying exited from my bottom, approximately six inches from his nose.
Embarrassed doesn’t even begin to cover it. Embarrassing doesn’t surmise with enough zeal the exact level of mortification, humiliation and SHAME, that farting so purposefully in somebody’s face provides.
I thought he was going to throw up, or throw me out.
But you see, it isn’t my fault. It’s the soup. The delicious, nutritious soup I have been eating of a lunchtime. The soup with all the vegetables and beans and lentils and HOW CAN SOMETHING SO GOOD FOR YOU TASTE SO DELICIOUS. I’m sure that goes against all the rules.
The first time I tried the soup, I ate the whole thing- designed as it is for two, you don’t know an appetite until you have to run around with somebody else’s kids all day. I had ten minutes between finishing lunch and starting my shift, so I took a brisk walk around the block with my colleague to take some air before being locked away for six hours.
Halfway round I could feel a rumble in the depths of my bowels. YES I JUST SAID BOWELS. It was an ache, a sort of deep yawn. Uh-oh, I thought. As we circled back around to school I was breathing heavier, and by the time we reached reception on the first floor I quietly whispered to my friend ‘Oh. I don’t feel so well.’
I silently took the key to the downstairs kids department that stays locked until regular school gets out and private English school commences. I slipped in through the door and flicked on the lights for the bathroom down there. Then, to make it look like nobody was around, I turned out the lights in the corridor again. I didn’t want to get interrupted.
I looked in the mirror. My face was pale and covered with a thin veil of sweat that beaded in messy clumps above my eyebrows. I gripped the sink and bent over slightly, breathing heavily. I closed my eyes. You got this, I said to myself. Just breathe.
I sat on the loo and waited. And OH DEAR GAGA was it a good job I wasn’t in the public bathroom upstairs next to the waiting area.
I think just about everything I had in me was released into that toilet, in quick succession and followed by a splash-back that meant I had to wipe both my bum and the cheeks when I was finished.
It was… cathartic?
Ten minutes, three flushes and a pep talk in the mirror later, I returned upstairs. Colour was back in my cheeks and I felt 10 pounds lighter than I did before.
“Are you okay?” my pregnant friend asked me.
“I thought I was going to die in there,” I replied. “I’m sure it isn’t natural that that soup can tear through one’s system like that in less than the time it took to eat it in the first place.”
“Did you use the toilet brush?”
“Yeah. But it wasn’t liquidy- it was quite solid. But is skidded on the way down and was so heavy it cracked the toilet bowl. It was a good one- the kind your doctor tells you about.”
And so after a week on such soup I suppose I had accumulated some air. And then there were muscle contractions and lifting and squeezing and basically now I don’t know if I have to find a new Pilates studio because I PRACTICALLY SHAT ON HIS FACE.
Hey- remember when I used to have dignity?