The evacuation could be delayed no longer.
Earlier in the day, I had eaten at the Indian buffet near the college and the pressure was beginning to mount. One more minute of flopping around on that lumpy mattress of mine would have meant the end of all personal illusion.
I got up and walked down the hall.
I live in what most would consider a well kempt rooming house. The building next to us is a halfway home. At the end of the road, there is a neighborhood bar run by a burly homosexual named Juan Tameek. On my birthday, he gives me drinks on the house. Every other night he overcharges me by one.
Like all rooming houses, the toilet is a community space—a fire pit in which stories are shared through collective scent. There are two bathrooms per floor. Me and the other thirty-five tenants spread our waste equally among them.
My apartment, number 11, is on the ground level. It is way out of my price range but it is mine and mine alone so I keep it and save my coins for the rainy days. The bathrooms sit at the end of the hall. All air flows outwards. Because to this, the main hallway always smells either of orange aerosol or shit. Usually a mixture of the two.
It was around 6am. The lights were bright, but the sun had not yet come out completely. By the time I made it halfway down the hall, my eyes were just beginning to adjust. Like a dumb dog, I stumbled towards my end.
Switching the door latch, I set my toilet paper on the shelf and pulled my boxershorts down to my ankles. Luckily, before I managed to bring my entire body weight onto the toilet seat below, I caught a whiff of the orange scent stewing upward.
Through the blur of sleep-delirium, I saw covering the top rim of the toilet a thick layer of aerosol orange. In the dawning light, it glistened like a new coat of paint. Wrangling a folded patch of toilet paper into my fists, I wiped the seat clear of its coat and sat on down.
Tiny Indians boys and girls dropped off one by one.
With them, the ease of a clogged inside dissipated. In its place, a euphoria arose and a satisfaction comparable to nothing else came over me.
It was about then that it started to burn.
“My cock! My balls! My cock and balls are on fire!” I screamed.
I must have missed some of the agent orange, ‘cause now down on the under ring where my now reddening cock and balls laid, I could feel the gooey layer of citrus rush begin to burn into my flesh. Jumping up from the seat, I ran to the shower stall and washed the area.
“That’s better,” I said with a sigh.
I was wrong, though. Not a minute later, the burning returned heavier than before.
I could feel my scarlet sack buckle into my stomach as if it were a bomb shelter. Water wasn’t going to work on this one.
Pulling my boxer shorts from around my ankles and wiping my ass as quickly as I could, I sprinted back to my apartment down the hall. From there, I proceeded to wash the area thoroughly with hand soap and water in my sink. That did not work either, though.
The burning kept coming and all I could think to myself was how I was going to explain this to anyone who asked.
“Cup of boiling tea,” I would say to any stranger who noticed my gauze-walk. “Big accident on the freeway the other day. I had to make a choice between losing one head permanently or the other bits for a little while.”
After a frantic minute of considering the cooling effects of olive oil, shampoo and saw dust, I opened my refrigerator. And like an angle atop a mountaintop, organic ½ and ½ waited in the door’s shelf. Pulling the carton from its plateau, I filled a small blue bowl with two cups of the holy dairy and dunked both the family car and all its luggage on in.
From the moment of impact, I could feel my body go from pain to ecstasy. It had worked—the holy dairy had brought me salvation! Like a handjob from the Virgin Mary herself, I instantly felt the joy of god’s grace bequeath me.
With that, I went back to my lumpy mattress and dreamed of nothing but busty heifers.