in which witness is borne: birds, politics, fiction and critical art theory

they're coming

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
today someone saw a MUTE SWAN and 22 COMMON GOLDENEYES on the Chicago River. these migratory waterfowl will likely be leaving us soon for the frostier northern climes...but in their place will be all sorts of songbirds! i don't know, there was a severe rawness to the wind today, as if it could pare off my facial skin, and a few superfluous snowflakes that whipped themselves at my head as i got off the train. but the planet is angling itself sunward again, the light is getting stronger, and somehow i didn't feel as desperate for better gloves as i normally do in such weather.
last night's class was all about Kafka, that writing that constantly puts a trapdoor under you, only to make you fall dizzyingly into a room exactly like the one you were just in. so perfect for the day i'd had! i'd gotten up, helped S. with the leg, gotten breakfast, gotten a tad bit of work done, watered the plants, helped S. with the visit from the physical therapist, gotten him back into bed after she left, gotten lunch, and THEN...as i was preparing to go to class, S. announced that he was ready to use the bedpan.
and...how shall i put this delicately? he used it.
and it was...a LOT.

so, kind of without looking, as much as that was possible, i dumped its contents into the loo.

and flushed.

the mass clogged the pipe. i held my breath. the water rose. i waited. so far so good.

i flushed again.

and the entire thing exploded. holding a bucket, desperately bailing from the bowl, screaming and cursing, i watched as the spill spread. S. shouted to me from his bed to get the mop: thanks, dude. THANKS. I got the mop and started mopping, realized the futility of this, grabbed three rolls of paper towels and started soaking it directly off the floor. my shoes were drenched. S. called the landlady , who said her husband was in the house, and i could ask him to borrow the plunger, which i did, and then i just finished sopping everything up, sprayed Lysol all over EVERYTHING, rinsed it once with the mop, and went off to class. Someone said I looked like a ghost as she plopped down into her chair next to me. i shook my head and listened as Kafka talked about the herculean fatigue of the man who has just cleaned the corner of his office.

p.s.--when i first arrived for class, i went into the bathroom to collect my thoughts. as i stood in the stall and leaned my head against the cold metal door, the automatic toilet flushed once...twice...thrice. in my ears it sounded like a gong.

p.p.s.--on the train ride back home, a man across from me was reading. the book was Kafka's The Metamorphosis. True story.
2:21 PM :: ::
  • I'm so so sorry to hear what an awful time you've been having. That is just the worst. The WORST!!!! Can anyone imagine having a worse thing happen to them (short of life-threatening options)?????

    By Blogger AmberFRIDA, at 3:03 PM  
  • oh, i don't know. i did have to sort of chuckle after i got finished sobbing in the rocking chair back home...those three automatic flushes...it was like Franz Kafka was speaking to me directly from the grave!

    By Blogger mar-mar, at 4:44 PM  
  • It does sound like you had an experience Kafka would have appreciated :-)

    By Blogger Eva, at 7:16 PM  
  • OK. I wasn't sure if you actually felt like it was funny at all, so I will confess, I thought it was all pretty funny, though I know being in the situation is not funny at all. I laughed most at S. yelling from his bed to get the mop. I hope you can laugh more now.

    But, I was thinking about where getting sprayed with/cleaning up poo would fall in the spectrum of bad things that happen, and I think you have...

    1. tripping and falling on your face
    2. getting teased fairly hard
    3. having to clean up poo
    4. sharting
    5. getting sprayed with poo
    6. being teased hard enough to make you cry
    7. minor injuries like a sprain
    8. major injuries involving surgery
    9. death

    I guess I will keep working on this list. Also, I will grossly remark that there is nothing quite like an accidental shart to bring you back to reality in any normal situation.

    By Blogger AmberFRIDA, at 10:40 AM  
  • a tranquil river. a turd floats by. it looks deep into your eyes and sees your soul. it laughs. and it should laugh. after all, it is a turd, and you a mere mortal

    By Blogger Abbyg., at 12:40 AM  
Post a Comment
<< Home

mar-mar :: permalink