I’m the sort of person who is very uncomfortable discussing such topics as toilet usage. I wish I was a more evolved human who didn’t have to partake in that disgusting daily ritual. Sadly, reader, I am human just like you. Though, I have a ritual entirely all my own when I expel waste from my body. First, I cover my head with a gunny sack or “cowl of shame” before I partake in this unholy abomination against God and man. Secondly, I whisper supplications to any and all gods of every religion, pleading for their forgiveness as I silently weep from being overcome with a feeling of self-reproach and repugnance. And lastly, I lash my bare back with a towel bar in an act of self-flagellation in order to inflict a certain level of physical pain that will mirror the emotional pain I feel at that pitiful moment.
I’ll be the first to admit that it gets a bit weird.
In all seriousness, what follows is a true toilet story that occurred last Friday. Though, more accurately it all started last Thursday night while I was writing my weekly blog entry. I was seated before the warm glow of my laptop screen while soaking my brain cells in Milwaukee’s Best, hoping that some pearls of wisdom or comedy may shake loose. It wasn’t happening. If you didn’t read last week’s post, don’t bother. It was far from my finest.
Before I knew it, it was going on one o’ clock in the morning and there I sat inebriated before my computer, tearing apart my weekly essay and eroding my self-esteem with such thoughts as: Sheesh, Noah, are you honestly making fun of the poor saps who share their writing at community events? Isn’t that essentially what you do? What makes you think you’re any better? Oh, wow! Now you’re making fun of that wheelchair guy? Way to pile on a paraplegic—real classy. Go ahead and dig your own grave, buddy. Remember this as the entry that you officially crossed over from playful cynic to insufferable asshole. At least all those great jokes you weaved in will be this entry’s saving grace. Oh, that’s right. There aren’t any—just petty cracks at people who are no different from you. This entry is shit. Hang it up and post a “Monkey Rewind” like you did a week before.
So there I was drunk and despondent before my computer while my conscience implored me not to post the entry. Instead of listening to my conscience, I instead further drowned it with a steady cascade of cheap domestic beer, all while convincing myself that the entry wasn’t that horrible.
The next morning I awoke bright and early and navigated to work through bloodshot eyes, an egg sandwich with black coffee swimming in my stomach, and residual alcohol still coursing through my veins.
The morning went fine given my condition. I was working solo, giving the interior walls of the spec home I’m working at a second coat of paint. I spent the morning taping off baseboards and window trim while the clock slowly crept to twelve bells. It was just before noon that the debauchery of the previous night was letting itself be known in my bowels. I knew something wicked this way comes.
I considered taking care of business at home during my lunch hour, but considered that I would be running the risk of one of my roommates coming home for lunch—exposing them to my disgusting penance for downing a twelve pack the night before. I instead opted to use the basement bathroom of the spec house I was working at. I mean, I had the place to myself after all. And afterward I could take off for lunch, thus giving the bathroom an hour to “heal”.
After completing the unspeakable act, I stood before the sink washing my hands as the unmistakable sound footsteps on floorboards creaked above my head. I cringed and realized that my sister must have shown up to clean the house on her day off. I quickly climbed the basement steps to cut her off at the pass before she could descend the steps in search of me. But instead of being greeted by the familiar face of my dear Sis, I instead saw some strange woman peering over the edge of the banister saying, “Oh, there you are. I’m just here to show a couple the house. We’ll try to stay out of your way.”
I looked up at the random realtor from the landing of the basement steps with a distant, deadpan expression on my face. I managed to mumble, “Sure…sure. I was just taking off for lunch.” My eyes suspiciously darted between her and the basement as if I were a teenage girl nervously talking to her father while her boyfriend hides beneath her bed.
I walked back into the settling fog of ground zero and wondering how I was going to remedy this disaster. I turned on the bathroom’s exhaust fan for a brief moment before quickly turning it back off—deciding that it was far too loud—and that I would be admitting guilt and responsibility if she knew I turned the fan on. I then thought, “I bet she knows what happened. I bet she heard me flush the toilet…twice.” Out of options I began flailing my arms like a one person wave at the world’s saddest baseball game while I heard footsteps and stranger’s voices just over my head. Realizing that I was simply displacing my putrid stew and that my frantic effort was all for naught, I decided that my only option was to the adult thing and flee.
With the deftness of a nimble ninja, I ascended the staircase as the group that was touring the house rounded the corner into the main floor bedrooms. If there was any time to get away it was now. And like a Syrian refugee, I escaped with only the clothes on my back, and hope in my heart… hope that the realtor didn’t remember my face.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that I queered any prospect of selling that house to that poor, innocent couple looking to purchase the home of their dreams. Though, I’m willing to bet the nice couple and realtor didn’t spend a great deal of time admiring the fixtures in the downstairs bathroom.