I love bathrooms. Bathrooms are the most honest places. They’re where people can be and are the most honest with themselves. Not only because we use them to literally “go to the bathroom”, but because that single door locking you away for a few minutes from the rest of the world, the little reflective square that allows you to really look at yourself, they make you feel safe. People tell secrets in bathrooms, hook up, do drugs. A bathroom will always be there when you need to get away. And every bathroom tells a story. They can be beautiful or disgusting. Think of the stains of graffiti on the walls, the people that come and go, the place on the other side of the bathroom door; they all tell a different story. Think of the difference between a girl’s bathroom and a boy’s, the difference between bathrooms in a school versus bathrooms in a club or a shopping mall. Think of what you’ve said in a bathroom and what’s been said to you.
I’ve asked everyone I know, whether they’ve vandalized their memories on the inside of a stall or flushed them away, to share their bathroom stories, confessions, and secrets with me. The storytellers will remain anonymous. Thanks to everyone who was kind enough to share. Below is a collection of some of my favourites.
“The girl in the left stall was crying hysterically because her boyfriend just broke up with her, and the girl in the right stall was puking.”
“I was drunk and sitting on top of a toilet seat with my feet up because both girls in the stalls next to me were on the floor and their limbs kept crossing into my stall. The girl in the left stall was crying hysterically because her boyfriend just broke up with her, and the girl in the right stall was puking. Someone was calling my name, but I didn’t answer because everything was so muffled. All I could hear were screeching girls. It felt like there were a million stalls and a billion screaming, crying, and puking girls. So I just sat there for a while and counted the beads on my necklace. The party sucked, so I guess the bathroom was more fun.”
“I fell in love with a boy while making out in a bathroom stall on a Thursday night.“
“There’s something so scandalous about being intimate in a public bathroom. Maybe it’s the spontaneous passion or the thrilling fear of getting caught. Or maybe we’ve just seen too many of the exact same scene while binge watching Netflix. People say a bathroom hook up is all sex-drive and no substance. But I beg to differ. I guess I will never think of the washrooms at the Beverly Hotel in the same way again. I got pulled into a stall with someone I was trying to take it slow with. Trying to play it cool to the world while some sort of magnet was yanking us together. The forbidden love factor was very high. We were breaking the rules. Even if the few minutes of frenzied kissing would’ve only received a PG-13 rating, sometimes that’s enough. I don’t think I even noticed the “Important Life Memory” label make itself into my mind until much later. My Confession? I fell in love with a boy while making out in a bathroom stall on a Thursday night.”
“The high-pitched sound a balloon makes when its mouthpiece is being stretched out escaped from him.“
“I rushed through the door and locked it behind me. The Indian food I had for lunch wasn’t sitting well, as per usual. White Air Force Ones occupied the stall next to mine. “You and I both,” I thought to myself with silent compassion. I’m minding my own business (as one does in a public bathroom), I pulled out my phone and scrolled down my Instagram feed. It was difficult to concentrate on Todd’s gym selfie and the aerial view of Katie’s latte while White Air Force Ones shuffled in discomfort. I should’ve saw it coming. The high-pitched sound a balloon makes when its mouthpiece is being stretched out escaped from him. It took every muscle in my body to avoid bursting with laughter. It was a natural bodily function, after all. There’s nothing wrong with ballooning. But, the unexpected happened: White Air Force Ones started to giggle. Startled, I began to laugh as well. Suddenly, I lost control of my body and found myself ballooning along with him. We tooted and chortled together though a thin wall separated us. We were the farting equivalent of blood brothers, if you will. After a cringe-worthy length of time, I finished up and ran off so neither of us had to endure a face-to-face conversation. Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t made that rash decision. Until next time, White Air Force Ones”
“Looking at myself in the mirror and trying to convince myself that things aren’t that bad, but as I do, for some reason I feel like I could start to cry.“
“Having two minutes of silence after hours of loud music and drunken conversations. Worrying about whether or not I should have broken my seal. I can hear the drum of faint music and laughter behind the three centimeters of wood that are blocking me from the rest of the world. Looking at myself in the mirror and trying to convince myself that things aren’t that bad, but as I do, for some reason I feel like I could start to cry. I smooth out my hair. I can’t help but think about all the things I wish I could have in that moment, all the things that I’m missing out on. I count my bracelets.I wonder if I’ll ever be able to look at myself in the mirror and not feel like I’m lying through my teeth when I say things will get better. I fix my lipstick. Someone’s at the door. My 2 minutes are up. I look at myself one last time. I throw on a smile that is so forced, it’s painful. I look at a blurred version of myself and wonder if I’ll ever be able to see myself with clarity. Oh well. I hope the next person has more luck than I did. But I’ll be back in half an hour now that I’ve broken my seal. Maybe I’ll see clearer then.”
“They would try to convince me that god lived in the drain of the bathtub”
“I wouldn’t call it life changing, but my siblings, my cousins and I used to always chill in my grandma’s bathroom at her apartment when we were younger. They would try to convince me that god lived in the drain of the bathtub, and I think that’s when I realized I didn’t believe in god.”