My E-level Vietnam

It’s been four days. But I’m still not sure if I’m ready to talk about it.

What I experienced last Friday in E-level’s men’s room changed me. Forever. And not in a good way.

I approached the door, ready for a quick pop-in. In general, E-level is not my first choice of facilities. With just one urinal and two business chambers, it feels vaguely un-American. Not enough choices, you know what I mean? But when a guy’s got to go...

When I opened the door, I descended into another world. It was like Lord of the Flies in there. Chaos. Anarchy. Unspeakable horror.

The penthouse stall had a library’s world of magazines strewn all over the floor. (Again, men, this is not a library.) I’m not talking about one or two sections of newspaper left behind...I’m talking stacks and stacks of magazines. It looked like somebody had been using the space to learn how to read.

The urinal was full to overflowing. And the color could best be described as “5th Floor Men’s Room Wall Color” which is not a shade associated with urinary tract health.

Then I found the turd.

It was in small stall and it dwarfed its surroundings. At first, I was concerned that someone had accidentally dropped their backpack into the toilet. Then it hit me: “That’s not a backpack.”

It appeared to be peeking up out of the bowl, head raised, daring me to come forward. “Who dares to enter my domain?” it seemed to say. “Not I,” I whispered and backed out of the stall.

But it was the smell that permeated the air that truly scared me. I did not know such smells existed in nature.

My mind raced to make sense of the experience. Perhaps a hobo wandered in off the street and into the E-level men’s room where he took his first real dump in three years.

But the smell was more than just the worst bathroom smell ever. It was something more.

I would not have been surprised to receive an all agency email on Monday saying, “Due to an incident last week, people are no longer allowed to keep human remains in their locker on E-level.”

Did I survive? Physically, yes. Emotionally, it’s going to be a long, long time before I recover.

If you or somebody you know is responsible for the crimes committed on E last Friday, I urge you to seek professional help immediately.

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