Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Day I was Trapped in the Bathroom

I told a story recently about a legendary dump. Well, here's another one.

It was early on Thanksgiving day several years ago. My grandparents and maybe a couple other folks had showed up and were having cocktails. I decided it was the perfect time to get a shower in, because things hadn't really gotten going yet. I didn't announce my shower plans to anybody, because you know, who gives a shit? 

So I went upstairs, did my thing, finished up, and in those few seconds between turning the water off and pulling the curtain back to grab a towel, I heard the door open. You see, our bathroom door was fairly unreliable during the colder months. The wood compressed just enough so that even if the doorknob wouldn't turn, the door could still sometimes pop open. "Fuck that lock!" I thought, and started sheepishly clearing my throat a few times, and shuffling around somewhat noisily.

No response.

No worries though, even if the intruder somehow hadn't heard me, I expected them to either 1) See the mirror fogged up, or 2) See my pile of clothes on the floor. Surely one of those facts would clue them in that someone was currently behind the shower curtain, silently hating them. Still, nothing registered. After hearing the unmistakable slightly labored breathing of my grandfather, it became clear why. He was hard of hearing, so of course he never heard me moving around or clearing my throat. As for not noticing the mirror fogging up or seeing clothes on the floor, I can only chalk that up to some as of yet undiscovered malevolent force in the universe. 

So at this point I'm still standing there in the shower desperately hoping he'd figure out I was in there. I suppose at this point I could've avoided disaster by just sticking my head out from behind the curtain and saying "HEY I realize the door popped open there, but the KNOB DID NOT TURN BECAUSE IT WAS LOCKED PLEASE LEAVE." But I froze. I guess I had assumed too much time had passed by then and he would've thought I was a weirdo for not saying something immediately. My only hope was to wait it out. It's not like he was going to take a shower right? Hopefully he was just taking a piss, and it would all be over in 30 seconds or so. As long as I stayed hidden and silent, I just might make it out of this unscathed. 

Well of course he wasn't taking a piss. Of fucking course he wasn't. I heard him sit down for a shit, so I quietly closed my eyes in a sort of resigned cheerlessness, and waited.

It was loud. It was putrid. It was legendary. 

It went on for quite some time, and all the while I'm standing there revolted, and yet somehow fascinated. Fascinated not only that a man was capable of defiling a room so swiftly and unapologetically, but also that I had ever gotten myself into this mess. 

We all do our best thinking in the shower, and surely now was a time for reflection. I started pondering my life up to that point, and then wondered where it would go from there. How would this scenario play out? The idea of me escaping undetected at this point became more and more of a distant fantasy, and a few thoughts bounced around my head.

"If he finds me here now, what do I do? How in ever living fuck am I going to explain myself?"

"I wonder if there are support groups for people that have also hidden in the bathroom while their grandfather took a shit."

"Hmm, what objects are close by that I can kill myself with?"

"I've ruined Thanksgiving."

After something like 15 hours, he finished up. I snapped back into lucidity, and felt a confusing mix of joy and fear. Joy that the end was near, and fear that this end might also be tragic. He walked over to the sink to wash his hands, the sound of each footstep thunderously echoing against my soul. He dried his hands, and then what's this?

He wasn't leaving.

No, the faucet turned off, but then he started traipsing around the bathroom. What was he looking for? A towel? No! They were right next to the sink? From the sound of it, he was just taking a whimsical tour of the bathroom. My heart sank when I figured surely this tour would include whatever was behind the shower curtain. Fear had overcome me. I was sure that he was seconds away from pulling back the curtain and seeing me standing there. I found a small amount of comfort at the thought that I had become such a hollow shell of a person at that point, that maybe he wouldn't recognize me.

I braced myself, hoping the shock of the sight of me wouldn't give him a heart attack. "Please do not let him find me." I thought. "Please let his curiosity become fulfilled before inspecting the shower. Please."

And just like that, he walked out.

And I wept..

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