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Coming off of my first year in high school, I truly thought that my life could get no better than it was. I played basketball every single day, I had a good group of friends who didn’t have the slightest interest in doing drugs or drinking alcohol, and most importantly my grades were decent.
My head was firmly set on my shoulders, and as May became June in mid-Michigan and school let out for the summer, I was under the impression that my days would be spent playing outside and trying to get handjobs from girls in my grade.
The handjobs didn’t happen because I had a shaved head, a practical decision that I made to keep hair out of my eyes while doing the only thing I was even remotely interested in – playing basketball. I also weighed 90 pounds soaking wet, I hadn’t hit my growth spurt, and I absolutely loved wearing basketball shorts and T-shirts everywhere. I looked a lot like White Chocolate from the AND1 Mixtape Tour, so the fact that I wasn’t getting attention from girls should come as no surprise to anyone reading this.
The playing outside portion of my dream summer did come to fruition, though, at least until around mid-June when my parents sat me down and told me that it was time to get off of my ass and get a summer job. Naturally I protested, but eventually found myself in a job as a mover of sorts.
A friend of mine — we’ll call him Sam — had gotten hooked up with a gig working for a company that owned several apartment complexes close to where I lived, and I was hired to work alongside him to move out furniture that people left behind in their apartments when they would get evicted. This is a job because when someone gets evicted, they only tend to take with them what they absolutely need. You can’t imagine the amount of miscellaneous garbage that we would find in these places — DVD players for days, fax machines, sex toys, water coolers — anything you could think of under the sun was in these unoccupied apartments.
Typically, we would hit one to two apartments per day. Most of the time the stuff that took us the longest to get out of these apartments were ratty couches or dresser drawers that spanned the length of an entire wall.
All things considered, my day-to-day work life was not all that bad. I was working with one of my best friends, and we drove a work truck around to different properties all day long just putting shit from apartments into the bed of the truck. There was a lot of fucking around going on, but we did the work we were asked to do. We got paid in cash, and everything was going swimmingly… until one fine morning in late June.
We had been asked to get to one of the properties earlier than usual — it must have been 7:00 in the morning when I pulled up with Sam in the truck. I can remember stepping out of the air-conditioned cab into the oppressive heat, the temperature already at a sweltering 80 degrees. The in-ground sprinklers were watering grass that the sun had already baked out to a brownish-yellow, and the cicadas from a swamp near the apartment building were buzzing at a volume I have not heard to this very day. Something was off — Sam and I could smell it in the air.
We opened the door to the apartment to which we were assigned for the day to an odor so foul that we immediately closed the door and stepped back out into the hallway. With my T-shirt pulled up over my nose, I joked with Sam that we were about to step into an apartment with a dead body in it; and honestly, I would have preferred that to what we would eventually encounter.
We re-entered the apartment — this time with our noses plugged — and began walking around. The blinds in the apartment were drawn, and cigarette butts littered the carpeted living room floor. It was a one-bedroom place, and I thought for sure that Sam and I would find a double decker in the bathroom.
No such luck. The bathroom was completely empty save for a Buzz Lightyear shower curtain that added another layer of creepiness to the place. The next thing that came to my mind was logical at least to me — maybe what we were smelling was the amalgamation of several months of someone chainsmoking inside of a small, dingy apartment. Perhaps they had a cat that they didn’t clean up after.
We searched high and low for the source of the smell for fifteen or twenty minutes to no avail, and eventually ignored it to begin moving stuff out of the place. After removing a couch and a bed frame, we had to go into the kitchen and begin the arduous process of clearing cabinets and drawers out. Silverware, glasses, and plates were strewn about and we had to put them in a garbage can we had with us. As I began emptying out cabinets, my eyes wandered over to the stove.
I don’t know what possessed me to open the thing, but as soon as I did a whole new wave of stench hit Sam and I directly in the face. I gagged while standing over the kitchen sink thinking about how miserable it was going to be to throw up the three-egg omelette my mother had cooked for me an hour prior. Sam was doubled over laughing with his hand over his nose. He placed cleaning gloves on that were provided to us by the company we worked for and five seconds later he had in his right hand a cookie tray. He plopped the tray down on top of the stove and, in between laughing fits, looked at me with an expression of shock and awe.
On the tray rested human feces. A solid shit, undoubtedly human because of the size and solidness of the two logs. Whoever had done it had been eating a lot of stuff high in fiber. This was a spite shit if I had ever seen one. I’m guessing in the hours leading up to this shit, the culprit was eating broccoli, oatmeal, and spinach by the handful, waiting to excrete a dump that would clog most commercial-grade toilets.
I assume that the tenant of this place had done it when he found out he was getting evicted, so right off the bat I knew that it had to have been at least a couple days old. And while I don’t think he actually baked his shit inside the oven at 375, it had been in an un-air-conditioned apartment with scorching temps outside, so he might as well have.
With a cookie tray full of shit, a garbage can full of silverware, and plates still in the kitchen, Sam and I walked out of the apartment. Fifteen minutes later, we were at the complex’s main office turning in the truck and quitting right there on the spot.
The both of us would settle into other manual labor positions shortly thereafter, but none were as memorable as that one. I still have nightmares about that cookie tray sometimes, the stench so unbearable that if I really think about it, I can smell it.
I’m disgusted and impressed all at once by whoever it was that did that to me, and if he/she happens to be reading this right now, just know that you might want to ease up on the chia seeds and legumes. No one human should be pooping out logs of that size and compactness..
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