I’d shown some video at the fundraising party and talked about my work. There’d been some interest and a few leads to follow up on. During a break in the action, I wandered down a hallway looking for the bathroom. The house was a collection of white marble buildings nestled into a magisterial hillside. Could you even call it a house? Each room was a ‘pod’ connected to the others by glass walkways. The bathroom was a vast, bare space much larger than my apartment with walls cut from solid basalt. Rather than a sink, a solid gold spigot projected from one corner directly onto the floor where, cut into white marble, was a single drain hole. The toilet, or what I thought was the toilet, was an enigmatic grey cube placed directly in the center of the room. A digital control pad on it’s side flashed indecipherable symbols. The top of it seemed completely solid until a discreet black hole mysteriously appeared with a whisper. It was a very small hole, – a dangerously small hole – clearly not meant for use when standing. I unbuttoned my pants, carefully lined myself up and sat down. Sensing my weight, a small female voice asked how I wanted to end my session – hot air, steam, auto dry, or self dry? I wasn’t sure how to respond. I hadn’t begun my session. I noticed nozzles embedded in the walls. Was I going to get a shower? Faint music drifted in from the party. The little voice asked again how I wanted to end my session. I wasn’t sure. Nothing had happened. The obliquely angled black walls leaned in. Hidden lights in the floor gently pulsed. I was sweating.
It was flop sweat.
I was acutely aware that my natural processes, with their aural and olfactory accompaniment, were painfully out of place. Nothing in this cutting- edged environment induced a state of ‘letting go’. No cues were present encouraging me to relinquish control and get my business done.
My grandmother had a tiny bathroom at the very back of her boarding house painted entirely pink. To get to it, you had to walk down a dark, rickety tool hall where they’d locked up my Grandfathers knives after he’d gone mad. The toilet seat was covered with bright pink terry cloth and there was a picture of Jesus descending from heaven. It embodied everything that is good about bathrooms – being held in a snug, safe place and being encouraged to surrender to higher powers.
The female voice asked again how I wanted to end my session. Was this dialogue really necessary? I could hear the party moving forward. I needed to get back. A violent sucking noise occurred as I stood up and walked out of the room. I found a floor length window, slid it open and went outside. Laughter and voices filtered through the underbrush.
I stepped behind a tree and relieved myself.
© Charles Moulton 2017