Couture’s face was inscrutable. The radio crackled some traffic over the State Police channel. Green Day was playing.
“You pooped your pants?”
“Yeah, I did.”
He stared at me for a second or two — inscrutable. Then he popped the trunk and got out of the cruiser. He walked around to the trunk, pulled out some evidence bags, and handed them to me. “Put ‘em down on the seat. I’ll drive you home,” he said.
We drove back to my place in silence. It was below zero outside, but we had the windows down as we drove through the quiet city. As I got out of the cruiser, he said, “Tate, what are you gonna tell the dry cleaner?”
“I don’t know…but listen, you better take this to the grave or I’ll put you there, man,” I said unconvincingly. “Don’t worry, I won’t say anything,” he responded, equally unconvincingly.
He drove away and I walked inside, stripped and took a shower. I couldn’t sleep that night. I paced back and forth in my little apartment. That had been the lowest moment in my life. How could that have happened? How could I ever show my face at the police department again, or have a normal conversation with Cpl. Couture? I would forever be the guy who pooped his pants.
But surprisingly, Couture was a man of his word, and to my knowledge, he never told a soul about “the incident.” We actually became good friends and used to go fishing a lot together. We never once talked about the time I pooped my pants.
Why do I tell you this story? Because I want you to know me, and I believe that by exposing my soft underbelly you can learn more about me than any list of facts could provide.
I am a Christian, a poet, a husband and father, but I am also a man who once pooped his pants.