“Which One is My Bathroom?” Draft, part 5

(See either previous part, or part 1)

I had visited the least classy spot, and I needed to see the full spectrum. I planned to be near the quad around dinnertime and saw an opportunity to visit one of the most unique sites on campus: the men’s underground bathroom in the History Corner. There’s an aboveground entrance and several frosted tiles that allow light in during the day. I had been there briefly before on a scavenger hunt, so I figured it would be a good expedition.
The sun is setting when I open the door into the bathroom. The warm light reminds me of a ballroom, and I stand at the top of the grand staircase. I nod to myself walking down into the bathroom as I look at the urinals on the left, marble-topped sinks to the right. The toilet stalls have white, carved wooden walls. They’re like painted fences, except for a stall-sized gap between each one. The doors are all closed, but a feet-check reveals one occupant. Without a shared wall and the rumble of a fan, I just pick the closest one and get to work.
The door latches easily, and I set down my backpack. I sit back, taking slightly longer to reach the seat than I had hoped as the toilet seat is a few inches too low. The toilet paper feels nice, tough enough to not disintegrate entirely upon use. I pull the newspaper out of my backpack and finish the job.
I wash my hands, a little disappointed that there wasn’t anything more special about the place. It’s nice, though perhaps too nice for it to be a home. Although I like cleanliness, there are too many details for comfort. A house of antiques is beautiful, but tiptoeing through the living room is no way to live.
It was enjoyable, but I don’t have a story to bring with me. The other occupant is still there, and I walk up to their stall and talk.
“Hey there. I realize this is a little awkward, but do you mind answering a few questions?”
There’s a peep. Maybe it was a word, but the fan is a little loud. I just assume that he said yes. He’s trapped, right?
“So do you use this washroom often?” It’s pretty important to know if I’m talking to a native, or just another explorer.
“No.” Alright, I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t just a peep. That’s not a guy’s voice. I can’t imagine why a girl would be in here. I’m nervous about it, but it’s too late. Besides, I’m in the less awkward situation here. I’m in the appropriately gendered bathroom, I know who the random person asking questions is, and I have my pants on.
“So what brings you here?”
“I was just passing by.” There’s a trend here. No one wants to have a conversation on the can. Maybe they answer the question for lack of anything better to do or politeness, but they don’t want to chat. Sadly, my research is more important than their discomfort.
“Umm. So. This washroom is pretty nice, eh?”
“Yeah.” Ack. Remember, open-ended questions while interviewing. I fumble for a second, maybe letting out a nervous laugh. I should have prepared questions.
“So do you have a preferred toilet that you use, that’s home base for you?”
“I use the one at the track house.” Oh, so she’s an athlete.
“It’s pretty nice? Is it nicer than this one?”
“Yeah, it’s clean.” I guess that’s nice? I look around, grasping for more, but find nothing.
“Okay, thanks!”

2 thoughts on ““Which One is My Bathroom?” Draft, part 5”

  1. I think one explanation for the “girl” that you conversed with in the bathroom may be that the “girl” is a transsexual.

    I can’t imagine why a girl would go into a guy’s restroom. I’ve heard from some guys that the boys’ bathroom is generally disgusting, way more gross than the girl’s bathroom, which is no surprise, so I’m surprised you mentioned a “girl” in a guy’s bathroom.

    I am predisposed to think that you made this up because you’re writing for a creative writing class and you want something fresh to “wow” the professor.

  2. I have no idea who it was in there, which is part of the fun of talking to people over a stall. I guess, so maybe I’m wrong, but that was at least my impression.

    And I didn’t “make up” anything for my research.

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