When you have a 9am tute, when you sleep through your alarm and when you substitute food for coffee and a couple of cigarettes, you probably haven’t had the time to take care of bodily functions best administered in the sanctity of your own home. You know that you won’t have to dispose of last night’s dinner in a train station toilet with a flickering light, broken lock, and vile smell. There are some respectable options at uni. You will be fine.
Indeed you are fine, you get to uni and walk casually into the Fisher bathrooms ready to read the paper before you begin your day in earnest. All goes well. The seat is clean, the door is locked, the fixtures pleasantly modern and your body functioning normally. No one really likes using a public restroom for anything more than a number one, but it’s not like it’s 3am in the Cross and your body is violently rejecting the kebab and 12 beers you previously consumed.
Your body is done expelling waste material, you put your phone back into your pocket, you reach for the toilet paper… A moment of disbelief takes hold of you, you reach for it again. They have those giant industrial rolls – they can’t run out, right?
You have a few options, none of them are attractive. You can pull up your pants, potentially smearing them with shit, but meaning you run minimal risk of having anyone notice your predicament. You can maybe wipe your ass with your hand and then run to the taps and wash them for 20 minutes, but then you would probably feel like Lady Macbeth for the next week. You can call out to a stranger in the bathroom or call a friend and explain your predicament and ask them for help. But explaining your situation would make your predicament both metaphorically and literally shit.
So, what do you do? You listen really attentively. Become familiar with the sounds people make entering and leaving the bathroom. Washing their hands, locking and unlocking the doors of cubicles, flushing, putting their seat up and down. You map the bathroom in your head. What cubicles are other people in? Will anyone notice me?
You pick your moment. You stand up, clenching your ass cheeks as tight as humanly possible. You cup your junk in your hands. You peek out the door. No one is there? You can hear no one coming?
You waddle, pants around your ankles.
You shut and lock the door behind you. You sit down. There is no toilet paper in this cubicle either…