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"I literally love yer ass" 

Remember that crayon you ate as a child?

For the first time in my life, I can say Grant is literally full of shit and Lary literally is not. But before I go any further, I'd just like to note that I am as confused as anyone as to why my friends feel the need to update me on their regularity, Daniel included. He just called me all googy about the lovely light-headedness he felt all day after giving himself a coffee enema.

"Promise me you'll try this," he insisted. I promised him that the very last thing I'll ever do with a pot of decent Costa Rican is shoot it up my ass, but Daniel was too busy chasing butterflies by then, or whatever other beautiful pursuits the clarity of consciousness is supposed to reveal to you as part of the benefits of flooding your butt with caffeine.

This has been going on since I met them. It's one of the things they all have in common, this fascination with flushing their systems. "John Wayne died with 40 pounds of crap in his colon," Daniel says. "Did you know that's true?" I do not know if that's true, but I do know that Daniel has told me this tidbit roughly 26 times over the course of our friendship as though it were the first time I've ever heard it, and about a million other times as part of what he considers a normal conversation.

"John Wayne was literally full of shit," Daniel says.

Grant is no better. Soon after I met him nine years ago, he became kind of addicted to colonics. I don't remember if he was gay by then or not, but if he wasn't, I guess this habit might have served as a sort of surrogate for his future leanings. Anyway, it all sounded suspicious to me, as the place he went to have them administered wasn't even a clinic. "Don't you need like a license or something to shove tubes up people's asses?" I asked, but Grant did not know and did not care. He was too busy feeling the effects of having been flushed. Colonics, in case you don't know, cost more than a full body massage. In Grant's case, as with any addiction, it got a little ugly. Pretty soon he was getting them done by some guy in a van. I am probably not even kidding when I say that. In the end, he was hosing himself out at the do-it-yourself car wash on DeKalb Avenue. Not literally, but still.

Now it's Lary's turn. He's dating another perfectly lovely person who we're all amazed agrees to be seen with him, and she's all into natural stuff and healthy food. Believe it or not, Lary is into that stuff, too. Barring all the bourbon, acid, Internet amphetamines and painkillers pirated from a willing cancer-stricken friend, Lary can be downright health conscious when it comes to putting things in his body. Whenever I go to his place to steal food under the guise of tending to his (still missing) cat, the closest I can find to junk food is a bag of pistachios. So when he announced he was about to, at the insistence of his new girlfriend, undergo his first colonic, I was a little surprised he'd never had one, as there are few firsts left for Lary. Grant, though, immediately poured forth with the amazing event Lary was about to experience.

"You won't believe the stuff that comes out of you!" he squealed. "You're literally gonna see crayons you ate as a kid."

"Oh, my God," I said, "you see it?"

"All that stuff that's been stuck in you your whole life, you literally see it flow by in the tube."

Lary was excited, wondering if there'd be toy soldiers, heirloom jewelry or perhaps even his missing cat. "Think of the mysteries that can be solved," he chimed, as though Jimmy Hoffa were up in there somewhere.

A week earlier, there'd been another somewhat mystery, when Grant had awakened a few days after a minor car accident to find that he couldn't move or breathe, not literally, but close enough. So, of course, the first thing Grant did was call Lary, and, of course, the first thing Lary did was drive right over, pick Grant up and take him to a yard sale.

"Did you check out the clothes rack?" Grant would occasionally mewl from the periphery, as Lary had propped him against the tire well of his truck to ensure he got a good view. To Lary's credit, though, Grant had insisted he was fine as long as he remained motionless while leaning just so. "That way I can almost breathe."

"He's not fine!" shrieked Mary Jane, a nurse who is also Lary's perfectly lovely ex-girlfriend. They had called her when it seemed that paralysis had started to set in. "He could have a lacerated liver or a collapsed lung! You need to get him to the emergency room right away!"

It turns out that the car accident had broken a few of Grant's ribs, which resulted in so much swelling that it caused an obstruction in his intestines. In short, Grant was suffering from a bionic case of killer constipation, literally. Under Lary's coaching ("Cry like a baby!"), Grant was able to procure some respectably potent painkillers. "I love yer ass," he's been saying to me lately, all painless and happy to be past the crap in his life, literally and otherwise. He thwacks me on the rear, "I literally love yer ass."

Hollis Gillespie's new book, Confessions of a Recovering Slut and Other Love Stories (HarperCollins), was published June 28.

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