you're reading...

Campus News

This is how lonely it gets

Gabriel Sistare, Editor-in-Chief (gsistare@wwc)

“I don’t mean to be gross, but, do you read when you sit on the toilet?”

“Like when I’m taking a shit?”


“Sure do.”

“Do you have a preference? Like, magazines? Books? Comics?”

“It depends. I usually sort of ‘feel out’ how efficient I’m going to be, like, how clean and expeditious it’ll be.”

“So, for instance, if you’ve drank enough water during the day and metabolized enough fiber you might only read a paragraph of People Magazine?”

“Yeah, or just look at pictures. And, conversely, if my stomach was kind of warped all day I might read about half a chapter in The Road# or finish “The Ice Palace.”# And I can finish a mid-length short story over two days, if conditions have lent well to such a pursuit—if I ate poorly for a few days. You know what I mean?”

“Sure. But let me return to something previously: when you’re, you know, quick about it, nice and cylindrical and contiguous—let’s say it takes about 30 seconds, the whole process—why read anything in the first place?”

“Have you ever really thought about sitting in a stall? Have you really focused on sitting in a 11/2 x3 foot space, usually the walls of which are painted some kind of green that has a lot of gray in it, like the color kind of reminds you of what you would think a bathtub would look like in the 50s because those people had just recognized that there is actually color in life although they weren’t really familiar with aesthetic sensibilities yet. I mean, let the muscles sort of take over for a minute, relax, it’ll probably help the situation and stave off aneurysms. Recognize where you are. This is the most lonely place you will ever be.”

“Don’t you think…”

“…it’s more than just a lonely space like a ‘where is everybody’ or ‘my friends are all away for the weekend’ loneliness. A bathroom stall is just one of those spaces, those environments, I guess, which makes every dormant thought come rushing to the front of your mind. Like when your going to sleep at night. It’s the same thing. Look, he said, not necessarily about bathroom stalls, but I’ll take some liberties: ‘there’s an almost dread that comes up, I think, about having to be alone and having to be quiet.’”#

“No distractions, total silence.”

“Right. Total silence, except for when someone, and we’re still with the bathroom context here, who walks into the adjoining stall—who is dressed really well and sort of ‘made way’ into the bathroom instead of just walked—pushes out a really gurgling fart that has prime sustain; that sort of ‘brings you out of it.’”

“No matter how mature you might be, right?”

“Yeah, funniest fuckin’ thing.”

“I guess I understand what your saying but don’t you think your over-analyzing just a regular bodily function?”

“No. This stuff is really apparent when your engaged in daily shit that you don’t really think about too much. Like sleep. Yeah. Especially sleep.”


“Well, going to sleep I guess. When you’re lying in your bed and you’re too tired to read, or write—you’re just lying down. A lot of people put music on or listen to the radio. And I don’t mean to make too much of a generalization, or impose an opinion when I could just be a little tired myself, but why don’t you, not you, like a general you, the plebeian you, why don’t you just go to sleep?”


“It just gets fuckin’ lonely. Think about how tightly you cling to your girlfriend at night.”


No comments yet.

Post a Comment

Stories by Category