#330: The Toilet

bathroom interior

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

So, our toilet has been broken for about six days now. We’ve had to walk down the hallway and use that one. It’s not a bad walk or anything, and it’s all inside, but still, it’s deeply inconvenient and annoying to have to risk seeing people in public while having to go pee. It’s a step in that direction that I don’t really need in my life, if that makes any sense. I’d rather not see people while I’m walking down the hallway, and I’d rather keep to myself. In the middle of the night, when the rec room and gym are all dark, it feels even weirder to see them. I like the stony silence of the hallway, but I hate the walk. The walk is definitely the worst part.

There’s also the fact that I can’t go there when I’m in a hurry. In the morning, when I’m getting ready for work, or when I’m just rolling out of bed, I don’t want to have to run somewhere else instead of just using the toilet in my bathroom attached to my apartment. Crazy how that works, right?

The other annoying thing is that the apartment place hasn’t really been answering us about this issue. They’ve just been petty about it and have kept to themselves, rather than actually finishing what they’re supposed to. We haven’t called the maintenance hotline yet, but that’s supposed to be only for emergencies, so we’ve avoided it mostly for that reason. In this case, though, it’s become an emergency, and it’s about time it gets fixed. When the time comes for it to get fixed, we’ll probably give hell to the office afterwards for taking so long to do this. I’m hoping that we have a somewhat reduced rent due, if that’s at all possible.

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#202: The Bathroom

bathroom interior

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

Something I don’t talk about much is the bathroom. Not because it’s something private that doesn’t deserve discussion, but because it’s something I’ve been shamed for in the past that I feel embarrassed about. But putting it online as I’m doing now is a bit more liberating, in some ways. I feel like I am activating a discussion I wouldn’t have had on this blog prior to writing 201 blogs before this.

Simply put, I have what’s called IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It means that I have to use the bathroom a lot, and at random times, sometimes without explanation or rhyme or reason to it. Most of it is triggered by anxiety, but that’s only some of the time. Other times, I eat something high in fiber and have to sit in the bathroom for a few minutes before it passes through me. It’s not fun, I’ll tell you that much.

When I first started working at my previous job, I remember asking to find the bathroom as soon as I could. It’s necessary for me to know where these places are, just so I know when in an emergency what to do and where to go. I also remember being in the bathroom one time, and hearing people outside the door waiting for me to get out. They gossiped about how it was me inside, so it probably would take awhile before I got out. I remember feeling total shame afterwards, and because I recognized the people’s voices, I never trusted them again. Sometimes bonds of trust are broken not because of overt betrayals, but because of simple acts of cowardice behind closed doors, when they think no one is listening or paying attention. I wish it wasn’t always like this, but most places are like this.

#152: The Dog Bathroom

bathroom interior

Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

When living life as a dog, everywhere is a bathroom, at least until you’re trained not to. But even when you are trained, sometimes you like to take big doggy poops outside in the bushes and leave them in places where Anthony has a difficult time picking up with his doggy poop bags. That’s what happened the other day, when Alex was away for the weekend. I took Angus outside earlier than usual, and upon reaching his usual pooping destination, he promptly squatted onto the ground and let loose a stinky mess right in the middle of a prickly bush. Of course, I tried as hard as I could to pick up after my dog, like a responsible and appropriate dog owner, but there was only so much I could do without hurting myself even more.

Taking Angus outside is always an experience. Being someone with perpetual anxiety, I always worry that we’ll bump into another dog and Angus will jump on them and make a mess in the apartment main lobby. Thankfully, that’s only happened a couple times and he’s gotten a bit better since we bought him a harness, but it’s still a concern of mine. Whether it’s human or dog, Angus will leap onto whoever seems the most interesting to him at any given time. When taking him outside, he tends to be a bit more excitable and interested in whoever is around him. He used to pull on the leash whenever cars or buses stormed through the streets, but he’s gotten much better at not doing that since we first adopted him.

Angus is the type of dog who loves attention, so much so that he’ll give off a little doggy moan from the couch if you leave him alone for too long. Alex and I used to think it meant he was tired, but now that we’ve had him for long enough, we’re convinced Angus just needs perpetual rubs to keep him from moaning during the day. And we provide the glorious body rubs for our boy, that’s for sure.

#41: The Shower

black shower head switched on

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Is there a feeling better than taking a hot shower on a cold, winter morning? Right now, I am enjoying what I would call the perfect feeling: a nice shower in the described conditions. My phone is waterproof, and when my mind is most at ease is the ideal writing condition. Let’s talk about that for a few.

(Look, I said in my last post that this blog would be moving in a more personal, “Wonderful!” themed direction, alright? Expect even simpler topics in the future.)

The simple, single joy to the morning. Showers have a certain magic to them, especially when enjoyed without worrying about time or place or anything. I love entering a shower after a long day, or in preparation for a long day. Alex was sick recently, and after taking a hot shower, she felt as good as new. Something about the warmth of the water, the steam exuding from the shower chamber as it tickles your nose and clouds your head for a bit. The heat, if left on for too long, can be intoxicating, letting you drift away from your thoughts and into the moment itself. It aids in mindfulness, the art of living in the moment. Nothing epitomizes moment-to-moment living like taking a shower, to me, because I am perpetually thinking about what’s happening around and in front of me. It helps me let go of my anxieties; if even for a few minutes, the absence helps me find some much needed stability and sanity.

One thing I’d like to point out is, I tend to judge houses by how great their showers and/or bathrooms in general appear. When visiting my friend James’s house in London, his bathroom had a closed-off, triangle-shaped chamber where an entirely overhead shower drowned you in hot goodness. He also had a lot of remarkable hair products that he let me use, which has informed my shampoo and body wash shopping ever since. I remember feeling trapped, behind three murky triangular mirrors, but entirely overcome by how great the overhead shower felt. Interestingly enough, after I returned from studying abroad and reentered a house in crisis mode: our new home had an overhead shower option. It’s like the real estate agent knew exactly what I wanted from a new house.

Now that I live in an apartment across the state, things are different. The shower isn’t as remarkable as the multi-faceted, diverse experience I was used to at home in Northford. Times have changed, but this just fuels my motivation and drive once Alex and I move again.