Recently, I’ve been frequenting the toilet, not because I wanted to ‘shit’ or ‘piss’ but because it was actually the one place I knew I could go where no body could hear or see me cry.
My favorite place in the world.
For those who do not know, my visiting days to the toilet began several years ago when I had first gotten a job. A job that I had hoped would catapult me into a robust career and fulfil every of my career dream. But as soon as I received my first pay check and I saw how little my salary was, I visited the toilet.
It was the day I actually noticed the fine tiles on the wall and on the floor. There was no WC sitter, just a white ceramic tiled pit attached to a drainage system to help it flush. The one pit system I knew back then in my youth service year, was actually made of mud and we had to flush our excreta ourselves using buckets of clean or already used water.
This one was nothing like that. All I had to do was shit, plug a string and then it flushed but as long as there was water in the WC. So at least it was clean and neat.
When I got there, I thanked God for the little I’ve received and begged him to either give me something better or cause the management of the company to increase my pay. I sang my “Do something new in my life” song and spoke in the little tongues that I knew. After a moment, I waited for a response. When I got none, I thanked Him all the same and left.
Many years later, I never visited the toilet other than to do the regular chores of shitting, pissing, farting or even checking if my tampon had fallen off.
I forgot how the toilet had changed.
I didn’t notice how the whiteness of the toilet had faded away over the years and how the water system was now leaking. All I did was use it, flush it, wash, sanitize my hands and then I was gone.
But then something happened.
I rushed into the toilet one morning and I could almost imagine, Mr Pit rejoicing that I hadn’t come this time just to use it. I paced round the little cubicle that housed all the faded whiteness, leaking water system and began to cry.
“My heart is broken, Lord. I love someone that doesn’t even love me anymore” I told the walls of the little spaced room and wept.
“Please take the pain away. Take it away!”
And then for every three hours in each day that followed, Mr Toilet saw me come other than to shit, piss, fart, or adjust. In time, I began to get used to its smell- the familiar camphor smell or recently sprayed insecticides. Some days, it was just fragrance from deodorants or wet mops. In the days where the cleaners didn’t care, it stunk of piss and shit and then more shit.
I even got used to the sound of someone pooping in the next cubicle. The awful sound of a shit leaving a person’s ass and dropping into the pit never disgusted me because the pain I had felt had numbed all my senses. I didn’t care that the ground I comfortably sat every time I came had already been tainted with shit or piss or that staying in there for a long time might even get me ill. All I needed was a response; His help and I didn’t plan on leaving there until I got it.
As I sat on the floors, I heard several feet come and go. My cries were in gasps because I could feel my heart chipping away painfully. I begged the walls to hold my sobs as I winced in pain. The last thing I needed was someone knocking on the white wooden door of the cubicle and asking if everything was alright.
I would just lose it, I begged the wall. So please hold them….
“Daddy” I cried to the only one I knew wouldn’t mind staying with me even though I was in a filthy toilet “Please help me. Only you can” I told Him as locked my face into my thighs and wept.
“They say I have issues. I know I have issues. It is why I am not perfect” I told Him “They commented on my problems and made it sound like they were perfect themselves” I told Him rocking myself side to side.
Good people make mistakes
“Daddy, these mistakes, these imperfections are making me lose everything” I told him
“They’ve made me lose everything and everyone I loved. He even got tired of me” I continued as I felt another chip at my heart and winced so hard that more tears stream down my already swollen face.
Not even light or darkness, life or death can separate you from my love….
“Daddy, I’m drifting away” I cried to him trying not to shut my eyes because I knew what I would see.
“I’m becoming her again” I told Him
I shut my eyes and then I saw her hidden under her desk in class, cutting away pieces of herself because she hated herself; because she felt so unloved. Her legs were locked the way mine were locked now and she looked very sad. She never laughed or played with the other children and every day she came to school, there was always a sharp knife in her school bag. And at break time, she would sneak into the toilet too and try to take her life.
She was also a toilet girl.
What changed her?
There was a prolonged silence as I flashed forward to when she had eventually smiled. It was after the day she confessed those life changing words and became born again and then it hit me.
I will never leave nor forsake you. And I noticed my self-confidence had returned.
I will always be with you even unto the end of time. I felt the chipping in my heart stop.
And for the first time in a long time, I wept tears of relief.
I had found my help in a stinking toilet.
I rose from the floor and admired my safe haven. This place has housed so many tears in so many years, I suddenly realized. There had been tears of unrequited love, requests for new job opportunities, outburst of rage, prayers for others and now a cry of a broken heart.
If I ever leave this office, I said to myself as I left the restroom and walked back into my office, wiping away all my tears.
I will miss that toilet…..