Sanctuary. You know the place. That sacred area where you can be you. Just you. No judgment, no worries, no concerns. No, I am not talking about church. I am talking about the bathroom. Don’t pretend that you don’t know exactly what I am talking about. That sacred place where you can let loose. Make those noises that only your cat is allowed to hear, and that’s only because he is incapable of speech and vocalizing judgment. Recently I discovered that my office at work is directly across the hall from the “pooping bathroom”. Don’t look at that sentence as if I had typed it in Elvish… You have used that bathroom. The highly sought after private bathroom that gives you the comfort of home.
No one wants to poop in a stall within an occupied bathroom. Just think back, to that one experience that was so horrific, it has made you poop shy for life. Maybe it was in high school, maybe in a busy mall bathroom, or even in silent library. “OhMyGod,” you think to yourself. “I can’t go with these people in here! What if I make loud noises? What if I make the bathroom smell? They may see me or recognize my neon pink shoes when I leave?! It’s social suicide.” You contemplate sitting silently until they leave, but it seems they are doing the same thing. It’s now a pooping standoff. This is the most awkward moment of your life thus far. So you go with plan B: distraction. You begin coughing, tapping your foot, and rolling and unrolling the toilet paper – anything to cover the sounds of what is happening in stall #2.
My office at work is located in an distant part of the hospital, and it’s even more obscure when wandering the halls at 2am… and it is directly across from a single bathroom. Over the past month I have noticed a pattern of people sneaking away to this bathroom. Now, in their defense, my office has been unoccupied for about 4 months… thus, they are not used to sharing that hallway with anyone. Still, I have heard things that can’t be unheard and every time I leave my office, the smell that permeates the hallways is like getting punched in the face with a diaper. The other day, there was a poor soul locked away in the pooping bathroom. The noises coming from under the door sounded like a cross between food poisoning and World War III. Shortly thereafter, I was paged to another part of the hospital (to save a life of course!). As I exited my office, so did the occupant of the pooping bathroom. It was a nurse I worked with… all 102 lbs of her. I am sure I gave her the look of “How the fuck did that much noise come out of you?? Impressive!” And after the very brief, yet very awkward meeting, she scampered off with a look of sheer terror. It’s been over a week. She refuses to make eye contact with me. I would not be surprised if she quits her job in order to avoid me for the rest of her life.