Tag Archives: psychological horror

Dirty Work

12 Jun

“But there was nothing in his life that could have prepared Luther for the special Hell that was the Ladies Room…”

Note the accusatory finger. Mm hm.

Note the accusatory finger. Mm hm.

See that quote up there at the top? That’s from a piece I’m working on – it’s a long story, about drugs, rock n’ roll, aliens, and mind control. And when I hit this part of the story, the grotesque factor got cranked up a notch. Okay, so maybe there isn’t a good excuse for this. I’ve had a weird life and sometimes the why and how of things gets lost in the dust of time. That’s probably all for the best – especially considering this topic: The Ladies Room.

I’ll spare you the gory details. But as I began to write, I realized that I was drawing from my life – from actual, first-hand experiences. And I got grossed out, all over again, like some kind of mental biohazard, self-inflicted PTSD. I know and it’s not okay. Sometimes, I feel as though it will never be okay, every again. I can’t begin to explain why I know about the inner workings of the Ladies Room. The things I’ve seen, which cannot be unseen. Or unsmelled. Or… Ya know what? I said I was going to spare you and I will.

Ahem. So, there are many differences between restrooms for men and restrooms for women. I first noticed these subtle differences when I was a wee lad. The Boys Room didn’t have doors on the stalls in my elementary school. And, naturally, the Girls Room didn’t have any urinals. In high school, the Boys Room never had toilet paper, while the Girls Room never had paper towels. As an adult, my experiences have been mixed. Sometimes, everything is squeaky clean and ‘G’ rated. Other times, it’s like stumbling into some kinda Eli Roth cosplay, or live action Saw roleplaying game. I have been storing away these things for too long. And I have observations.

Point One: Oh My God!
So-called ‘water closets’ that are designated for women are notorious for being GROSS. I am here to testify to that as well. I’ve had friends who did janitorial work – for both high end and low down eateries. And they tell me that the ladies room is hands-down the worst. I’ve seen it, with my own two eyes. And it isn’t confined to urban environments. Visit a campground lavatory sometime, if you want to witness the horrors of being human sometime.

Point Two: Who does that?
It seems like there is a cascade-failure that happens in social environments. It’s the classic monkey-see, monkey-do thing. If someone makes a mess, it becomes socially acceptable for the next person to make a mess – even in the case of accidents. You throw the paper towel wad towards the trash, but miss? Guess what? The next gal isn’t going to try very hard. Now multiply ‘wet paper towel’ by a factor of the Valentine’s Day Massacre and you have an idea of what a truck stop restroom can be like at 3 AM.

Point Three: Goddamn it all to Hell.
At some point, most people would just call it quits. If it were a guy, they would rather pee on a tree, or in an alley, than deal with a biohazard scenario. Trust me, I have navigated some truly heinous bathrooms – and gotten quite good at touching nothing with my hands – but there are lines I won’t cross. Does the expression ‘Hover-Pee’ ring any bells? How about ‘Hover-Poo’? I have heard ladies complain, but I’ve never seen them trudge into the restroom with a gallon of diesel and a book of matches. Sometimes, it’s the only way.

I’m not here to point fingers, or castigate anyone. I’ll let other moralists and social scolds* throw the first… stone. I’m just writing this all down because it’s the kind of thing a mental health professional would probably advise me to do. Maybe this will help someone else, who is slogging through the refuse of their own life. The machinery of society is imperfect at best, but once you’ve opened your eyes to the hidden underbelly you can never see things the same way again.

It is the kind of thing that colors my writing – and maybe even drags it down. I didn’t set out to write about this kind of thing. Obviously, I’ve got some stuff to deal with though. Damned subconscious mind, making me crazy… The very best I can hope for is that it’s out of my system now. Just purged out of me, like a… Oh no. No. I’m done with euphemisms for the night.

Again, I’m not judging you. I’m just… not touching anything you own, ever again. Ew. Just… Ew.

*: As an aside, ‘Shit Shaming’ would be a great name for this kind of thing.