Posted by: tlnemethy | November 26, 2015

Back to the college stall

I’ve always been a fan of bathroom humor. Even so, I can’t for the life of me get over the awkwardness of public bathrooms. I found this in a bit of my old writing from college and figured it went well with my theme lately.

This is my story.

It just so happens that I had eaten an odd, yet delicious meal that didn’t seem to agree with me past entering my mouth. Anyways, its finals week at my university and I scuttle out of my computer lab to the nearest restroom, hoping not to encounter anyone I know on the way. I can feel the breakfast coming alive in my stomach as I power walk. Not the best feeling let me tell you.

Of course, I push open the door and see someone I know at the sink washing her hands. Shit. How bad is my luck. She’s a talker.

We strike up a short-lived conversation as I slowly inch myself far enough in a stall to make it obvious I am not too caught up in the conversation, that I have some business to be attended.

I have already unbuttoned my jeans at this point, but she’s still talking. Of course, I did it sneakily, with my hands buried inside the pouch of my sweatshirt, so she probably wasn’t aware. My answers have turned to short grunts. I’ve regressed into some sort of cave-dwelling, dinosaur hunting ancestor of mine.

I grip the metal door of my stall with tense fingers, impatiently thumping a thumb on the jamb as I realize she’s finished drying her hands. God. No one is that thorough in washing their hands. I’m breaking out into a cold sweat and my free hand is shaking inside my pocket. Somehow, I’m still participating in the conversation enough for her to stay. How is that possible? I’m not even speaking anymore. Its like I’m playing charades and she’s the world’s shittiest guesser.

Someone else walks in and passes between us, momentarily breaking our eye contact. That did the trick, finally she says goodbye. At that moment I would have frenched the pope had he been in the stall with me. But damn it, whoever had walked in had seen my face.

Bathroom etiquette, in my case,  means you do not do anything if someone in the bathroom knows who you are. I don’t care if she has no idea what my name is, but that woman knows what I look like. I’m fucked.

I make a big deal jingling my belt around, hoping that even that slight of a sound would help the bathroom goer beside me get down to business. Nothing. I rattle the toilet paper roll and pull off a strip. I clear my throat. Still nothing. What are the odds that I get stuck with another shy bathroom goer? She’s not even gonna pee until I get down to business.

By now there’s been too much silence. We both know the other one is gonna decimate the toilet, but neither one of us wants to be the one to break the silence. I look up at the ceiling. Why do you do shit like this to me? My stomach gurgles a warning.

I haven’t so much as heard a drop come from my neighbor. My brain goes silent, even my deepest thoughts are panicked at how to handle the situation. Suddenly, one word pops into my head as if spoken by an ironic and schizophrenic part of myself.

Stalemate.

I laugh silently at the thought of how long both of us will sit and wait for the other. I actually thought, well I don’t have a final until 3. That gives me about, oh, pretty close to 4 hours. I seriously considered it. Then I realized how much Googling or internet Sudoku playing I could do. Fuck that.

I get down to business, hoping I could somehow will it into being extremely quiet. My ass has been clenched so tight at this point that I think it couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief when I relaxed a fraction. A tiny little fart bubbled out of my ass like the sneeze of a mouse. I sat bolt upright and clenched my cheeks, knowing she’d heard it. I blew my nose nonchalantly, flushed the toilet, and hurried out.

I then ran up a flight of stairs to the faculty bathroom that no one ever uses. How much I love the peace and quiet that it afforded me you’ll never be able to understand.


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