I'm Only Here for the Beard

By: Lani Lynn Vale


I’d even gone as far as to call my doctor back home and ask him what I should do about them, and the devil had laughed. Laughed!

With nothing else to do, I walked into my bedroom, tucked my shirt and undershirt up underneath my armpits, and gathered my supplies.

Once I was situated with all my supplies on my bed, I opened the plastic bag I planned to stuff my shit bag into, and got to work.

After trying to decide whether or not to use reusable bags, I decided on the smaller disposable bags since I didn’t have time to clean the bags out, and I felt confident in my decision, even though they were on the costly side.

Also, I’d gotten more efficient at changing it over the past few months, and I even developed a little system to get the job done but I still managed to get shit dripping down my stomach despite my trying not to.

It took me ten minutes to change my bag, and when I was done, I looked at the Ziploc, wondering what in the hell I was supposed to do with it now.

The point of the Ziploc bag was to contain the smell, but that didn’t mean that some didn’t leak through despite my efforts.

That meant the kitchen trash was out.

The bathroom was out, too, since I hadn’t heard the bathroom door open since I’d been in here.

So, with confidence that Sean would be in the shitter for another five minutes, at least, (yes I’d timed him) I opened my door, peeked out, and made a mad dash for the front door.

There was a dumpster there that would be a perfect spot to throw my trash into.

And it would’ve been great, too, had I not opened the door and ran smack dab into Sean’s muscular chest.

It felt like hitting a brick wall.

“Fuck!” I whined, trying to disentangle myself from Sean—who’d caught me before I’d gone sprawling out on the pavement.

My hands were up by his head, the bag of poo thrown over his shoulder like a fucking shoulder bag.

And I was about to cry.

I was touching the man with my poop!

Of course, it was in a bag, but still! I was touching him with it.

Embarrassment surged through me and it took everything I had not to wrench out of his arms.

I didn’t.

If I had, he would’ve seen what was in my hands, and that would’ve been awkward.

Instead, I made the hard decision to stay in his arms, and hope he didn’t look over his shoulder.

“Where did you come from?” I bit my lip.

His eyes went down to my mouth, then up to my eyes, and then back again.

“I was looking for you,” he said. “Was wondering if you wanted to go eat.”

I released my lip and his eyes returned to mine.

“Yeah,” I said breathlessly. “What’s that?”

I pointed to the station with one hand.

When he turned, I threw my bag as far as I could get it, watching it land at the back of the medic.

He frowned at me once he returned my stare.

“What was what?”

He looked over his shoulder, scanning for what he’d heard land after I’d thrown it, and saw nothing.

Thank God.

“I swear I saw something,” I lied. “Where do you want to go eat?”

Please don’t say Taco Bell. Please don’t say Taco Bell.

“Taco Bell,” he said. “It’s either that, or Rudy’s. And we’ve had Rudy’s three times this last week.”

I frowned.

We had.

But when it was either Rudy’s or Taco Bell, I chose Rudy’s every time.

But I was beginning to think that Sean wasn’t under the same mindset.

“Don’t we have to stay within our district?” I asked hopefully.

Taco Bell was about a quarter of a mile out of our district, and we weren’t technically allowed to go there.

I secretly hated the other two stations because they had all the food in their districts, leaving Stupid Taco Hell and Rudy Doody’s in ours.

And since I was a firm believer in sleeping as long as possible in the morning, I rarely, if ever, had time to make my lunch in the morning before I was expected to leave at oh, dark thirty.

“No,” he answered. “I called Bill to make sure it was okay. As long as we eat in the medic, we should be fine. And I’ll go in afterward to get us a refill for the road.”

Resigned now, I reluctantly pulled out of his arms, feeling the loss of warmth almost instantly.

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