I took a trip to England once. I had always wanted to travel there, and I had finally gotten my chance with a trip through school. I was very excited, ready to see all the sights and hear all the British accents. Without actually visiting, I had decided that England was my favorite country, though I couldn’t tell you why. Perhaps it was something about the way the rolling hills looked in pictures of the English countryside, although it could just as easily been the funny hats the Queen’s guards wear, I was always intrigued by the little things. In any case I had never been so excited for a trip in my life.
After a plane ride that seemed to take forever we landed at Heathrow airport in London. We stumbled out of the terminal and onto our little bus, perfect for our group of ten people. I’m not sure how long it took, be we ended up in the tiny town of Frome. Our hotel was small, but the sliding door in my room opened onto the lawn overlooking a perfect set of rolling English hills.
We spent the next ten days taking day trips on our bikes to all sorts of beautiful and exciting places like Stonehenge and the historic bathhouses in Bath. We saw caves and monuments and lots of rolling hills. I actually spent some time getting very lost on one of those hills, surrounded by tall grass and sheep. All these experiences were enjoyable and interesting, but they weren’t as life altering as I had wanted them to be.
About halfway through the trip we spent a day off schedule. This was the first day that we didn’t have every moment planned out, and it turned out to be the most interesting. Our bike trip for the day took us to a beach. It was July, but the air was cool and the water was cooler and the beach was deserted. Instead of sand the entire beach was made up of smooth, beautiful rocks and pebbles. We spent about two hours just having fun, running around over the shining rocks, trying to skip stones and some of us even dared to brave the chilling water.
It was on that rocky beach that I began to feel like this trip was going to be something unbelievably important in my life. There was something about sitting on the smooth rocks, staring out to the horizon that spoke to me better than a guided tour of Stonehenge ever could. I can’t say exactly why that moment was so important to me, but It was the moment my trip really began. I sat on that beach and stared out at the ocean, thinking that if only I could see far enough, I could see America, I could see the east coast that I called home. To be fair if I had seen any big mass of land it most likely would have been Ireland, but the idea of seeing my home from a completely different angle was fascinating to me. We left the beach, but I took a part of it with me, using the feeling of looking at things in different ways to enhance the rest of my trip. I’ll never forget the feel of those wet rocks beneath my bare feet, and I’ll never forget how my trip to England forever changed the way I travel.
I don’t believe in God. Not the God of my Catholic school classmates, the one who didn’t exist when they were out partying on Saturday nights, drinking and sleeping around, but who loved them on Sunday mornings and forgave them for their sins, even if they were still hung over. This God hasn’t appealed to me since I was twelve, when I decided I didn’t want to be confirmed in my parents’ church. I guess I believed in God before that, but I can’t remember. I know I liked going to church on Sundays and baking the bread for Communion in my Sunday School class. I have never been to Europe and been inside the Duomo in Florence, or the Siena Cathedral or walked around the Cathedral Complex at Pisa, but I do study art history, so I know what they look like. They are impressive, especially when you think about how they were built. They didn’t have modern technology. These immense buildings, all the more impressive as they move towards High Gothic, towards the sky, were built by hand. Many workers, stonemasons and artists and sculptors, put their entire life into a building that wasn’t completed in their lifetime. The first time I walked into the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Morningside Heights, near Columbia, I got goosebumps. It is HUGE (it is, after all, the largest cathedral in the world, and the third largest church). Like, jaw-dropping huge. Bobst is overwhelming in its own way, but Bobst is not a House of God. This building was constructed (with a lot of problems along the way, not unlike many of the thirteenth and fourteenth century churches) as a monument to this Lord. It was designed by an architectural firm, and its design has changed many times, and it is still unfinished. But despite all of this, it is still a House of God. I remember standing in the nave the first time I went there and being overwhelmed. I have already said I don’t believe in God. And I still stand by that statement, but for that moment, I felt like there had to be something to this: people have devoted their entire lives to this building, and hundreds and thousands of people have devoted their entire lives to churches and cathedrals across Europe. Are they doing their lives’ work for something or someone that doesn’t exist? It made me hope that there was something to it: that there really is a God, even a Christian one. It seems like too many people have devoted too much time to something for it not to exist.
Frank took my hand.
“Thank you God…”
I tried to keep my eyes closed, but the urge to examine the table, the people, Brian – who I had looked at many times before, but was somehow different – was overwhelming. The prayer droned on and I closed my eyes again and waited for something terrible to overtake me. The plane ride had been filled with admonitions about what I shouldn’t say and shouldn’t do and shouldn’t be. Without saying anything at all, he had transmitted these fears through the stale, chilled air of the coach cabin.
My hair felt too short against my neck. I couldn’t free my hands to adjust my sweater to hide my androgyny. I was stuck exposed with what I was sure was atheist, feminist whore written on my forehead. An itch began to creep up my arm. I breathed deeply and practiced acceptance. Jesus looked down from above the mantle, chiding me for my feeble attempt at Buddhist practice.
“…and thank you Jesus for bringing Brian and Marisa safely from New York to be with us on this special day. Amen.”
Brian squeezed my hand.
It was the first time he had acknowledged my presence since we’d arrived.
The drive from Milwaukee was the first indication that I would be spending the holiday alone with his family. His mother nervously asked him to drive. The humming silence of the engine and the tires on the road was broken only occasionally by church gossip and exits fast approaching on the left and right. I sat quietly passing judgment about the infrequency of his calls home and the wayward brother he never talked about and the religion he had so wholeheartedly forsaken in exchange for anger and regret.
His childhood home was unassuming. The siding matched the sparse lawn and said nothing of the trauma contained within its boxy four walls. I couldn’t remember why we’d come here. I thought maybe after five years some of the pain would have washed away. Selfishly, I wanted to see where he’d come from. I wanted to tell him that it actually wasn’t so bad. I wanted to erase his memories. F
rank finished eating and got up without a word. The television flickered back on and, beer in hand, he faded away.
I asked Margie about her job and about the renovations in the basement, but the words seemed hollow.
I washed the dishes while they looked up cell phone plans and Black Friday sales on the internet. The kitchen felt cold.
Rather than argue in the house, we went out and cranked up the heat in the car. I wanted to tell him to come back. I wanted him to know how much it hurt to be in the same room with him and feel alone. I wanted to shake him and see the light come back on behind his eyes. But we didn’t speak. We didn’t say a word. The radio clicked on and we sat staring straight ahead listening to the Christmas music they erroneously play before Thanksgiving. I glanced over at him and he was looking back. The tears ran down his face. I took his hand and we waited for the words that could, however inadequately, express the moment.
I walked along side the road, trying not to show my fear. There were hardly no shoulders, so I kept glancing back to see if a car was coming. There was also the issue of not being able to remember which side to walk on. And of course, I was lost. I was supposed to be meeting my new friends at a pub, but I was definitely getting farther from the town, not closer.
At least it wasn’t dark yet, but the sun was setting. I stopped, rotated, took in the green. No, I didn’t recognize anything. My cell phone didn’t work in this country. This was such a stupid idea, I thought. Why did I think I would know where to go? I sat down on the side of the road now. No cars were coming this way. I tried to assemble a plan of action.
I couldn’t remember a time I’d been this lost. I don’t think it’s possible to feel that lost in America. In America I would know how to get myself out of the situation, but here, I was just a speck of humanity in a sea of green. No one even knew where I was going tonight. I told my friends that I “might” come. I was traveling alone and hadn’t talked to anyone from home in a day or so.
The sunset was beautiful, and as I watched, I stopped worrying. I realized, this is not the end of the world. I am so concerned about meeting my friends, and making a good impression. Stop worrying. I am in a beautiful part of the world, watching the sunset. If I retrace my steps and look for civilization: a car, a house, I’ll find my way back. But right then, I honestly didn’t want to find my way back. This moment was perfect. Sometimes you have to be lost to find yourself.
“What did I get myself into?” We pulled into the school’s back parking lot. Immediately I was having second thoughts. The place looked normal enough—typical high school. It wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small, wasn’t intimidating…yet I was intimidated’ me, the 15 year old who described herself as “fiercely independent” and “adventurous”. Yet this was a different kind of adventure. Yes, I attended a school just like this—though a bit smaller—at home, but that was the problem. If the girls here were just like the ones at home, I would have my plate full. Teenage girls and their little trends, inside jokes, and disgusting need for attention…I was doomed.
I had many friends back at school, I wasn’t having any problems at home, I wasn’t running away from anything, I had just become so bored that I thought it would be a good idea to go on a month-long exchange to a different school in the Sacred Heart network. I was beginning to think of how stupid that had been of me. My school at home was perfectly fine. Not a normal high school, we had no football team, no homecoming or prom, and—the saddest thing of all—no boys. Why, then had I thought to go to another school exactly like mine, just in a different location?
We parked, and my mom helped me gather my things and take them into the building. The school had a dormitory, though not everyone lived there. I pulled open the door to let myself in and the alarm went off. “Great.” I was off to a perfect start. Why would an unlocked door trigger an alarm?
A tall, severe-looking woman came down the stairs, hit a button, and the shrill noise stopped. She introduced herself as Ms. Smith, and then said she was some ridiculous title, basically meaning she was the overseer of the dormitory, and confirming my worst fear. The people here were just like the ones at home, showy and proud. She directed us to the elevator and we took it up to the fifth floor. It stopped first on the fourth and, seeing no one waiting there as the door opened, I stuck my head out to see what everything looked like. It was like I was now in South Korea. All the signs and doors were in Korean, there was an almost-empty case of some Korean energy drink, and coming out of a cracked door across the hall was a different language, which, I thought it was safe to assume, was Korean. Perfect.
The doors closed again and reopened on floor five. It was pretty much the same as the fourth floor, but a couple of the signs were in English. I walked down to 504, my new room. Judging by the fact that I could stick my arms out and touch both walls, I guessed it was about 6 feet by 10 feet. The cinderblock walls, for bed, desk, chair, wardrobe, and sink got me thinking that it would be so difficult to feel at home here. My mom said good-bye, and left.
I sat there in the empty room, completely overwhelmed. I was on my own, all right. I needed to get everything in order by myself. I needed to go get shampoo, soap, tissues, cleaning supplies, and food by myself. I didn’t even know how to do laundry, another thing I needed to do by myself. “This should be fun,” I thought to myself. After unpacking, I went to find Ms. Smith and ask how to get into town. She told me there was a bus to Target leaving in an hour, and I decided to walk around until it was time to go. Everything was pretty much locked in the school, seeing as it was Sunday afternoon, so I waited by the entrance for the remainder of the time.
The girls showing up for the trip were all Korean. What gave them away was possibly because they were all speaking a different language, or the fact that one girl wore a shirt that said “Kiss me, I’m Korean.” A group stood a few feet away from me, joking and laughing in rapid Korean, not even acknowledging that I existed. Not only were these girls just as cliquey and self-involved as the ones at home, they refused to speak English. My hopes of fitting in plummeted.
The trip was a lonely ordeal. I got everything I needed, plus a little more. I had been turning the corner from one aisle to the next when I had almost run into a toddler, who decided that this was the moment he was going to be sick. Therefore, I was forced to do laundry my first night. “Could anything else go wrong?” I thought to myself. I changed and went down to the laundry room in the basement. To my surprise, I found a girl who was not Korean. She had headphones in and didn’t acknowledge my sudden appearance. I didn’t mind. I had to focus on figuring out how these washing machines worked. I loaded my white shirt, now covered in a disgusting dark brown, my sheets, a towel, and my red washcloth. I closed the top, put the soap in, and started the machine.
“Uh-oh.” It was too late. I realized what I had just done, but the washer had already started, and the door had locked. There was a sudden racket behind me. As I turned around, I saw the girl pulling the top of another washer with all her might. I decided to go investigate. The girl saw me and said, “Sorry, am I bothering you?” “No,” I replied, “But what happened?” “Accidentally bleached a load of darks.” She said with a disappointed look on her face. “You’re kidding?” I added. “Wish I was,” said the girl. “My favorite pair of jeans are in there.” I told her what had just happened to me. “No way!” she exclaimed, cheering up a bit. I introduced myself and told her I was the new exchange student. “And please don’t judge me, but could I tell you something?” She nodded. “This is the first time I’ve ever done laundry.” She laughed. I knew it was all going to be alright now. “It’s alright, I did laundry here for the first time too a few weeks ago. I’m an exchange student too.”
We started talking, and told me her name was Kerry and that she was from Maryland. We talked until we heard the buzzers from the laundry machines, and saw what a mess we made of our clothes; mine, being all pink and looking like the girl side of a baby store, and hers, all shades of brown, tan, and orange. We laughed, and at that moment I knew that I had made the right decision, coming here. Adventure? Check. Independence? Check. New people? Check. Laundry skills? Those would come in time. For now, new experiences, making mistakes, and new friends were good enough for me.
Remnants of fireworks lingered above my head, holding on for a few final moments. I snuck down the stone path, avoiding the crowd of grownups who knew right from wrong and would tell me it was past by bedtime. The smell of salt filled my nostrils as I came closer to the ocean. The bar had cleared out, and only a few workers remained. They wiped down the counter to make it look brand new. I looked terribly out of place—a young American kid surrounded by grown Singaporeans in white uniforms. They wondered what I was doing there. I wondered too. Charnj, the hotel manager, used his hand to call me over. I thought I was in some sort of trouble. “Maybe one more beer?” he asked, “to end the night?” The night was already over; a rising sun offered its light. “Do your parents know you’re still down here?” he asked out of care. “No,” I told him in between sips. “I snuck out.” The last words came out in a slur. He smiled. “You must drive your parents crazy. You drive me crazy. I’m crazy about you, you know. Ask anyone here.” I noticed the tide changing in the ocean. “My own kids, back at home, they sneak out too.” He leaned in and kissed my cheek. He was my dad’s friend. He bit my ear. The bar became light enough to see clearly. The working men wore grey, not white. I stood up, and Charnj did the same. I was taller than he was. “Let me walk you back to your room,” he offered. “I’ll tell your parents you were helping clean up.” “They probably didn’t even notice I was gone.” I felt like I didn’t owe my parents anything. I was on my own. They had allowed this to happen and now I had to take care of myself. I realized that my parents could not protect me—maybe they were as flawed as Charnj. Maybe all adults were, both men and women. I turned and walked away. I think he must have stood there for a while. I didn’t care to look back. I waived to my parents’ friends while I passed by. They smiled back. As I walked, I noticed the smell of salt once more. It reminded me of my childhood.
I’ll admit that I might have been a little bit jaded in my junior year when I studied abroad in Tokyo. I first got the idea at the beginning of high school when I was questioning my identity as an American, asking myself what that really means. I’ve always been interested by travel, and I wanted to be immersed in a culture completely different from what I was used to. Essentially, I was looking for some sort of epiphany to answer the questions inside of my young mind. Having never left the country before, I guess I didn’t really know whether this place I’d heard so much about even existed. When I first saw the bright lights and massive buildings in Shibuya, I remember being in complete awe. Outside of Hachiko station, huge screens sprawled over a sea of people. To this day I’ve never seen anything that looks quite like it.
The feeling I experienced reinforced my perceptions of Japan in the back of my mind; I had always thought of it as a place where people are always polite, where racism isn’t an issue, where the bad things about the United States didn’t exist. A place like Gebel. Like Ibn Fattouma, I wanted to find this place I had created in my head. It turned out I was wrong, unsurprisingly. I realized that pretty after quickly hanging out at Asuka High School. I was surprised by how mean some of the kids were to each other. Many of the kids were also very rude to their teachers and kids slept during class every day. One of my teachers showed me a Japanese history textbook that left out crucial details about how the Japanese made their language the official language of Korea during the time of their occupation. In fact, the more I learned about Japanese culture the more I realized that it’s really hard to make judgments about their culture as a whole. Japanese people are people just like everyone else, and they make mistakes and do things that aren’t very nice sometimes. With that being said, I love the Japanese. I didn’t see it coming, but I got homesick by the end of my stay. All I wanted to do was leave.
The routine of daily life in Tokyo had taught me what it had to teach me and it was really valuable, but I still wanted to go home. When it started snowing as I was biking to school in the morning the week before I left, I was even more eager to leave. Eventually the day came and I suddenly didn’t want to leave once again. But after giving in, I boarded the plane and was on my way home. It was surprising to me as well when my real epiphany appeared to me not when I was in Tokyo, but during the plane ride back. I thought back to before I had arrived and asked myself whether it had been what I had expected. I realized that what I had gone traveling for was to find my own identity, and, on the way back home, I identified with my American heritage more than ever before. And then I thought to myself, “yes, this is what I expected.” I realized that all I had really wanted in the beginning was to find a place where I feel at home. I’m an American, and it took me a trip to Japan to realize it.
Headless, staid on skewers, jouncing by their nooses, the brown, crispyflesh fowl behind the steaming storefronts wafted a greasy, menacing overture in the streets. Neon rain caught the diesel fumes of the warm city air and sent them back up in sticky prowling clouds cloying at street level. It was crowded. Cries and honks and subdued, familial babbling: all foreign. Darkness at bay clung to the periphery of light. The sidewalk glowed with neon and gold trinket and brightly colored talisman. Through the coat pockets, Thomas Beater plumped his fists against his stomach, weary of the darkness, color, odor, sound rollicking in his brain, licking raw his brain.
“Where is it then?” he asked.
“Coming up.” Andy ventured. His eyes swept vaguely the second-story signs for English and his hand often swept absentmindedly over his back pocket to test the mass inside. His mouth was slightly open as he led them.
“What’s it called?” Glancing left and right, screwing up her eyes. Receiving the street, sensation drowning thought, wearing her down. Her name is Astrid.
“Peking Duck House.” Andy raked his hand through his hair absently.
“I hope you have those three characters tucked away somewhere.” said Tom.
“Huh?” he turned his attention.
“Three Chinese characters. You speak Mandarin? What if it’s not in English?”
“The sign,” His head turning.
Peeking from a dingy jamb came low-cut breasts, painted toady face, thin roguish eyes and an open duck-bill smile, smiling, smiling like wide open legs. Here I am! Rouge lips beckoned: “Kee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee…” all down the street and Tom’s eyes, locked in hers in fawning and fascination, gave way to a jocose disgust his mouth took up:
“Never before,” laughed Tom “have I so wished I knew Mandarin.”
“Not bad right? Of course we’ll be hungry again in an hour or so but...”
“Not bad Andy. Cozy place. All it needed was a cloud of cigarette smoke and a game of Russian Roulette.”
“That’s Vietnam you idiot. And the place itself was not that bad.”
Astrid pulled the cigarette deftly from her mouth. “No, it was.”
“OK but the food was good. And that’s what we came here for yea?”
“No the food was very good.” Tom fixed his pointer finger at a right angle to his thumb and waved it menacingly. “Diddy Mow! Diddy Mow!” Two children saw this and stared open-mouthed, blank at the spectacle. Slippered little feet scuttled to the boys and ushered to the opposite sidewalk, cautious clucks, pecks, and Tomward glances. The gun disappeared from his hand and reached, sheepish, penitent, for the family now fading into the sea of faces that looked all so similar to him and now, somehow, more serious.
Andy burst out laughing: “Well done Tom! Did you lose your manners back at the restaurant?”
“I may have left them in the wine glass,” He rubbed his jaw sleepily and allowed himself a laugh, “and it’s not disrespectful, just...eh. Now class, who can say ”sorry” in Chinese? Anyone? Anyone?” A hand shot up in the air and waved frantically. “Andy?”
“Ummm…can I go to the bathroom Mr. B?”
“No! You’ll stay in your goddamn seat until the goddamn bell rings goddamnit! Anyone else? Astrid?” Giggling, head shaking: no. “The answer is “who cares”. Astrid I know you knew that one. Hail us a taxi then?”
They agreed by stumping their cigarettes into bleary, neon puddles as a car pulled up to the curb. Tom sat in the center and leaned his head earnestly forward between the dull plastic windows.
And then, intoned from above – the plaint from below – in the sing-song soughing of Gabriel (now the mere and mighty slapping on the keyboard): “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
Tom checked himself and chuckled pleasantly, privately. “Driver, fifth ave and tenth please.”
The air taste clean up in the mountains; light in a way that was refreshing compared to the acrid smell of pollution that contaminated the land below. Even with the pushing and shoving brought by the rampant tourism industry here, in the forest there is a stillness the rest of the area is bereft of. The trees here are ancient, moss-covered creatures, towering overhead and lost in the misty fog.
They call this place the forest bath, with the crisp fog drifting slowly by, and there isn’t a smell other than that of the earth, musky as it is. People travel in groups and their voices are little but a dull murmur beneath the sunlight being filtered down from the sky.
I’ve never been one for sight-seeing. The process feels more than a little tedious – get on a bus, get off a bus, go walk around, go to a hotel. I’m even less inclined to travel in packs. To get up to the mountain of Alishan, dozens of eager visitors cram into a tour bus and are driven up the mountainside, all clamoring about the famous sunrise and the aboriginal culture. My family was decidedly less excited – being on vacation together for a week and half had been taxing on our patience.
The crowd disperses when we arrive, with people flocking to the dozens of little hotels hidden away in little niches. Of course, the forest bath is a must in the visit. We trudged away in an uncomfortable silence wrought by fatigue and unrest. By the time we’re at the beginning of the trail, we are all vaguely detached from our surroundings. I can tell by seeing the glazed look in my brother’s eyes that he is not entirely in his own head. My dad has his camera strapped securely around his neck, and his finger is already on the shutter.
It’s strange. Even with the crowds of people, the excited chattering fades away at the start of the trail and don’t pick up again until after it is over. You’d think that the overzealous nature of tourists could never be squashed, and I’d be quick to agree. This is a little different from that. The situation feels less as if they’ve been subdued and more as if they’ve been shocked into quiet, appreciative awe. Alishan isn’t a secret. Truthfully, the mountain is one of the most famous and consistently visited in all of the little island that is Taiwan. You’d assume that what with all the pamphlets and leaflets praising the site, there would be little to no surprise in store for the visitors, but it becomes apparent that there is more to traveling than exclusivity.
Busload of visitors or not, nobody leaves the mountain without a little moment of perspective. The worth of a trip doesn’t lie in how many places you’ve visited or the remoteness of your location. It’s hidden away in quiet moments, in the peace between breaths, and flashes of clarity. The balm to a beleaguered soul.
One summer I went to Rome with my mom, dad, and sister. I always resented going on these trips with my family because we would spend so much time together eventually we all wanted to kill each other. During our stay we decided to go to the Vatican city and see what there is to see. Outside the chapel there is a ring of statues of the sculptors fifty favorite saints. I was impressed that anyone knew fifty saints and their deeds let along have fifty favorites. Anyhow, we made our way through the masses of foreigners from every pocket of Earth interspersed with crowds of pigeons and up to the main entrance of the chapel.
Outside the entrance stood the Swiss Guard with stern facial expressions and halberd spears, yet dressed jester-like attire. The contrast was goofy and I chuckled to myself a bit. Inside the church I saw a lot of things that in retrospect are pretty amazing but at the time seemed sort of meaningless. I was too young to appreciate what went into the chapel. Along the walls of the entry hall were writings in Latin that appeared to be nothing special but apparently each letter of each word was two feet tall and chiseled all in completely uniform font. On the floor there were marks with names of other duomos throughout Italy, marking where they would end if they were placed within the Sistine Chapel and thus drawing attention to just how gargantuan a structure it is in comparison with all the other duomos in Italy.
My parents lapped everything up. They couldn’t help but be glued to everything their eyes latched on to. I got vertigo from looking at the art work on the ceiling and became very dizzy and uncomfortable with myself and couldn’t find a spot to sit down and my feet were starting to ache from standing around and standing in lines and standing in art museums days before and walking to and from everywhere we went. I was just a little guy. I didn’t have much endurance for this kind of thing. But my family was determined to teach me some patience as they kept me there in my state of self inflicted woe and whining while they poured over every detail of the building.
Finally my parents decided they had their fill and told me it was time to leave. We walked out of the chapel, past the goofy Swiss Guard again, and out into the heat of the Roman afternoon. It was so hot that we immediately sought refuge under the shade of the ring of saintly statues. In the shade my dad took out his map and travel guide and began the tedium of trying to figure out where to go next and exploring every potential detail of every potential place we could go that day. I sat for awhile, but then I got antsy and started pacing around. I then looked up at the statues above me and noticed all the pigeons roosting on the platform upon which the statues were mounted. I remember thinking, “Well that really is a lot of pigeons. I imagine if someone stood right there they’d run the risk of --” and just then pigeon shit spilled over the edge of the platform and splattered all over my head and onto one of my shoulders. My sister was in instant hysterics and continued to be so for many ensuing moments. My parents did their best to make me feel better but couldn’t because I knew they were suppressing laughter as well. That’s when it hit me. You can’t come into God’s house with a crappy attitude and not get crapped on yourself. I sought an immediate shower.