About Son of Man

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Narrows

This is a revised version that I think is better than the one originally posted.

You could tell he was squatting. The way his right foot was turned slightly inward, and the way the pressure of his foot against the side of his Pumas caused a bulge in the leather, gave it away. He must have walked through some wet grass; the black rubber at the heel was darkened and a bit shiny. The very bottom edges of his pants were moist as well, but only at the back where they had just begun to fray. Or maybe they came like that. The pale, straight grain jeans, crumpled into a stack, looked like they must have cost 150 dollars. The benefit, for him, of the faded form-fitting jeans, was that they didn’t touch the ground even as they were around his ankles. Only the titles were legible on the discarded newspaper lying on the floor, a short toss away. One corner of the paper was well dampened by the small translucent puddle it partially sat in. The paper’s crease was crisp like it had recently been plucked from a stand. Any item that hit the floor would most likely remain unclaimed. The speckle pattern vinyl floor tiles were a couple shades darker than the beige eggshell surface of the stall walls. The dividing wall didn’t merely facilitate privacy for the sallow stall. It provided a space for advertising personal services, initiating political forums, and showcasing galleries of crude genital portraits. Noise from the cafeteria flooded in as the main door swung open, drowning out the faint electrical hum and the self-conscious bodily sounds.


Blogger Jill said...

"Or maybe they came like that."
Lol. Nice line.

4:15 PM  
Blogger ChenAngel said...

I LOVE IT....can't wait for the book...tales of the bathroom stalker...GREAT!

6:50 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I might beg to differ with you Josh. Maybe I skimmed to quickly when I read the original, and therefore missed certain things, but your additions (the note about the tile and stall colours, mostly, unless I missed it the first time) seems out of place. Up to that point, you've described a lot of texture (dampness, rubber, crinkled, etc), but then we get to the comment about the wall colour, and it's like bam! In your description of an awkward and alienated experience, speckled floor tiles just seem out of place. If you're describing the student centre bathrooms (and by the sounds of it, you are), I know from the first and last time I used them that they're pretty shadowy and dank.. perhaps a comment about the lighting, shadows bouncing off the walls, which didn't merely faciliate...

Just offering my two bits. I miss creative writing so, and it encourages me to see yours pop up every now and then. :)

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Nagoda said...

That is the most detailed, pompous and arrogant sounding description of a washroom I have ever read. I loved it. Well done.


4:03 PM  
Blogger Jesskah said...

I didn't even get it until I read it this second time here. When it finally clicked (3/4 of the way in) I went back up and re-read some stuff and it was way cool to feel like I was breaking a code; all these things I could read differently and calmly. (Sometimes I get frustrated when I don't understand things.) Anyways, I like it. The tile part makes sense to me because, couple with the advertising space, what else are you going to look at.

Do your bathrooms actually have real-people advertisements? Ours sure do and it's quite insulting. There are literally corporate advertisements (small - 12x16" - posters in frames) at eye-level on the insides of the doors. They usually get genital portraits and political screamage drawn on them too but I think this turn the invasion of advertisement up a notch. (i.e. you're not even safe in the bathroom!)

12:42 PM  
Blogger Jesskah said...

I meant to add: I like that you're writing about something uncomfortable or unlikely. (unpleasant?) it rawks.

12:43 PM  

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