So you have to put your bag somewhere when you get in that tiny stall. They give you a hook, but as you look at it you notice it looks precarious and rusted. You’re having visions of the construction of that stall, sparkling and new, and a man, probably in his late forties, sweating and hammering the nail into that not yet faded blue door. Naturally, it shakes the life right out of him. Heart attack, aneurism, stroke. You can pick anything you want really. It doesn’t really matter. He’s pretty dead.
They–being management– leave his work half done because they have more pressing issues: the man in his late forties is pretty fucking dead and clutching his hammer and the stall in that post mortem body spasm. They sweep the death under the rug and there is that hook, half finished, rusted, and looking back at your for some pity or mercy.
Then you glance at the ground and realize that your in a public restroom. And you are pretty sure now that that’s not how post mortem works in a body or anywhere else for that matter. So you’re gonna take your chances on the rusted hook. It squeaks and teeters but for a moment it looks okay and you pull down your pants and squat above the toilet bowl (careful not to touch it with your skin, but fully allow your nether regions to breathe).
You can’t stop glaring at the hook and your bag as if you being able to see it will convince it into staying up there. Gravity seems more convincing though. Okay so you can’t pee because you’re anxious. Even though you’ve resigned to your inability to charm the gravity out of things, you’ve got your 400 dollar laptop in there and its not on warranty. You grab it off the hook and cradle of in your lap and you squat again and like that you can pee.
Step two: Operation Wipe. You maneuver your body so that you can reach the 1 ply toilet paper and try to hoist your backpack into an obviously more dangerous position than on the hook, but its above your head and pride pushes you to things like this. Then you’re free to finish up but your shorts are only being held in place by your legs. If you move now they might fall on the ground. You remind yourself where you are. You are in a germ-a-phobe’s personal pocket of hell that involves fire pokers and clowns. I don’t know why clowns, but definitely them.
So you grab hold of your pants with your freehand and then you realize you can’t quite get ’em on. You tug until you feel like you’re decently dressed. Then when you kick the flusher it juts for a second and your yellow and toilet paper filled bowl stares back at you. You kick it again and already you have created a religion that is only applicable when you need a God to let you flush a toilet and leave a bathroom embarrassment free and social status intact. You pray to him furiously, foot press down on the leaver. The slow flusher continues on its lazy way gurgling like a small boy drowning until eventual it is all gone. At which point you are stumbling out of the bathroom, pants undone and hanging a little low on your ass, clutching your backpack like a terrorist, and hands wet because you washed them as fast as possible be as far as possible from there as fast as possible.
And you bump into your professor outside, and he’s struggling to decide whether or not to pretend he doesn’t see you as you lock eyes from about 2 feet away or to say hello to you and make up an excuse to not go into the bathroom or to ever talk to you again ever. You just walk away. Good on you