August 10th, 2010 - in Boston, having surgery.
August 10th, 2011 - in Boston, en route to New York City.
Again, irony, nostalgia, whatever you want to call it, it’s a little weird. But believe it or not, this story isn’t about my last summer, no, this one is about this summer. For anyone who has ever been to New York City - or dreams of going - a car is a very impractical thing to have in the city. New Yorkers are intent of jaywalking (regardless of traffic), taxis drivers can be ruthless, so we decided to keep our car in Boston and take the bus into the city.
So that seemed like a good idea. We piled on the bus, I sat with my sister and my parents sat nearby, and we soon busied ourselves in our laptops and iPods and snacks. I was intent on watching ‘Anne of Green Gables’ - of course, classic Maritimes - and was happily doing so as my little bag continued to fill up. Now, I was wearing white shorts (I will explain later why this is probably not the best idea on a bus) and decided to wait until we were a little closer to the city to use the bathroom on board. About half an hour from our final destination, I handed my computer to my sister and told her I’d be right back. Well, so I thought.
First of all, there was no vacant/occupied window on the bathroom, so I awkwardly stood there knocking on the door and trying to discern if anyone was using it. But I finally opened the door, closed it behind me, and flipped the switch to the right to lock it. As I was emptying my bag, the bus jolted and I almost painted my white shorts in poop, but thankfully did not (but again, maybe white shorts were a little risky in hindsight). And then naturally, after flushing and Purell-ing, I went to unlock the door and go back to watching ‘Anne’. Only - the door was not unlocking. I wasn’t worried, my hands were slippery with sanitizer, but after drying them off, the lock was not budging no matter how much I fiddled with it. The handle was turned all the way left in the track, which should have unlocked it, only no. Of course. I was locked in the bathroom on a moving bus.
I was laughing, I mean, it is funny and something that would happen to me, but I was also contemplating my escape. I didn’t have my cell with me - though maybe it will be advantageous to begin doing that in the future - and decided it was impossible to get out on my own. It wasn’t going to be a miraculous escape, but this was my two stage plan: 1) wait for my family to realize something was wrong, and 2) bang like mad on the door.
I began to pound the door after a few minutes, trying to politely scream that I was locked in, but I was sure that everyone was plugged into their iPods and that no one would hear. But someone did, and I could feel them try to rip back the door. A long story short, the deadbolt was stuck in the door and the bus driver had to pull over to bang it open. When I emerged, EVERYONE was turned around and looking at me. Of course.
It’s a good story - combining the best of bad luck and bathroom humor. Traveling with IBD, and an ostomy, are always eventful for me, but I find it the least stressful to try to find something funny in every situation, because, as they say, if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
I made it to New York in one piece with stainless white shorts (though narrowly so), and will be out running in Central Park tomorrow. I can’t wait to be running and moving in the city that never sleeps, in the place where I want to live one day in the future, where Crohn’s was officially discovered in 1932, feeling free and well and whole.
Because, of course, it is really a magnificent feeling to be alive and happy.