I was 14 years old when my Dad gave me these instructions:
Son, hurry to the drugstore and get me two Fleet enemas.
I was mortified, but quickly realized (by his apparent discomfort) that he wasn’t joking. Couldn’t my older brother or sister make the trip? Why wasn’t one enema enough? Would he need help administering the product upon my return?
The bike ride to town normally took 15 minutes. But this trip seemed longer. Much longer. My mind raced faster than my legs.
“Please Lord, don’t let my friends be working today.”
I entered the drugstore praying an old man would be behind the counter. Instead, she was young and attractive. My hands began to sweat. I found the Fleet twin pack per his instructions (thank goodness I didn’t have to ask), and proceeded to the checkout.
My worst fears came true as the attractive cashier locked onto my eyes when she realized what I was purchasing. As though any words could help, I blurted, “They’re not for me.” But the words did nothing to ease the discomfort for either of us.
I dashed out of the drugstore with my head down, and returned home a little stronger for the experience. Dad seemed relieved when I handed him the package. A look I wouldn’t understand until much later in my life.
If there’s anything more humiliating than giving yourself and enema, it’s not coming to mind. But that’s a whole nother story.