From the bog

I step into the loo and close the door, there is no lock.
I tussle with the drawstring on my ancient sports shorts. Without the string they would not stay up, but with the string they are almost equally impossible to get down. It’s a conundrum that amuses me a little, I think I need to get out more? But here’s the irony. Getting into the loo and shutting the door is the closest I can get to getting out more right now. Beyond that door is my immediate and extended family. I step into the bog not only for nature’s call but also for relief of a different kind. If I am lucky I will get more than thirty seconds of ‘peace’ before a small child (mine – so it’s kind of my own fault) will come and, at best, stand outside the door shouting “DING DONG DING DONG DING DONG DING DONG” until I answer or, at worst, just burst straight in and leave the door open for all to see. Dignity is a concept for which my thresholds have been seriously compromised since having children. Now, in this current living arrangement, it has bled further into some kind of major-artery injury and I have none left at all.

So I close the door, sit down and stare at the floor. The stones sit politely next to one another in their immovable pattern. Separated only by a thin line of grout. The ultimate in being too close to your neighbour. There is a sense of peace and satisfaction in the way they are so strong and still and neatly lined up. I think of my life and wonder if being a floor tile might not have been a more superior choice. A great deal of certainty and an inability to fray at the edges, either literally or metaphorically.

In my mind I pretend I am in a country where living space is at an absolute premium. Perhaps Japan? And this loo is, actually, my micro-home. I plan out where my bed would be, the desk, storage, living ‘space’. Should Hello Kitty adorn any spare piece of wall? It is a game I’ve always enjoyed. Thinking about confined spaces and trying to fit more in. I wonder if it is a metaphor for something else in my life but then I get distracted by how to make best use of the location of the window. Does the sleeping area really need natural light?

In my mind I have slipped into the bed and feel enclosed and enveloped and loved by this space that is all mine and only mine when,

“DING DONG DING DONG DING DONG!!! AMMA!
AMMA KRISHNA BIT ME"

Suddenly I am back on the loo again. I haven’t even done a pee yet. It is fortunate that my dignity left me when I bled out after slitting my wrists because within three seconds the door will be flung open (it will almost whack my knees on its unstoppable path to whack the wall) and I will be on view to not only the two, small, protesting children but also to the rest of the people I am living with. I sigh. No point hurrying. Once peace has been made with the loss of dignity then you have all the time in the world.

We are not OK.

“She looks so peaceful.”

“SHAKE HER.”

“Stop pulling on her, go inside!”

I’ll remember each one of you, tiles.

This loo is different. The passing months have tired it considerably. They have tired me too. The coffee has long since been finished and my mind feels dulled in the sense of a dense, wet sponge filled with oil instead of water. A sort of sticky oil that permeates through everything and leaves a constant residue reminder.
As if my mind can no longer

just get going.

I wonder what the best thing to do is? Is anything possible anymore? I feel as though I am in limbo and teetering on the edge of a narrow plank across a deep chasm. Held in place not by my will but the situation’s unwillingness to be done with me. I’m not completely sure that I am ready for the chasm but I have certainly started to consider it much more lately. Although the loo is much safer than the chasm. The chasm looms dangerously in my mind. If I could only move a little. But my limbs feel as though the sticky oil has slipped along my veins and arteries and gummed them up.

I can hear voices. Or can I? Is it the tiles talking to me? Is that right? No, that cannot be right. It doesn’t make sense. Tiles cannot speak. Am I still on the plank? Or am I on the loo.

Suddenly it is all very confusing.