I had a friend back in the late 80’s, early 90’s, his name was Joe.
Not sure if we were really friends in the real spirit of the word so much as we just enjoyed getting drunk and straddling the disreputable thin line of life and impending death by misadventure. We tempted fate more times than I care to count.
I hung out with Joe. He was a few years my junior and in some ways, I was his depraved mentor, guiding him on the shining future path of dissolution. In other words, I bought all his booze in that period up through his 21st birthday. I was the contributor to his delinquency but the dude was a million light years ahead of me in the category of street smarts. He was a tough ghetto monster who would have no problem pile-driving me into the concrete if he felt so impelled.
We essentially hung out every weekend.
We visited malls, events, bars, pedestrian areas, bars, parties, etc, whatever it is most other quasi-friends with a penchant for self-destruction like to do.
I like to think when I spend a significant amount of time on the throne. I think, and think and think. I don’t have a smart phone, refuse to own one, so I’m uncharacteristically self-contained and pensive when there is not a television or computer in front of me (which certainly qualifies when on the throne).
Sitting there, “businessing,” I was reminded of Joe and one excursion we made to a local mall somewhere east of L.A. I have no idea or remembrance of which mall, or which year, but it was one of those typical 80’s malls with 4 or so large department stores (ie, Broadway, JC Penney, Sears) and we were strolling around, Joe and I, doing our typical dead-end shopping which involved a whole lot of checking out chicks and a whole lot of smack-talking but very little buying. There was a moment I needed to use the restroom very badly so I ran into a department store’s tucked away stalls in a bathroom most likely sitting near the customer service desk where they wrapped gifts and processed exchanges.
I walked into a stall and was greeted by a vile image brewing in the toilet water.
Someone had left a large couple of logs, typical looking shit logs. Typical brownish, speckled coloring, about yay number of inches, tip to tip. The unflushed spectacle was not shocking in the respect that this is the typical trashy behavior witnessed in public restrooms all the time.
People leave shit, piss, vomit, everything, behind, un-disposed. There is no conscientious attention to clean-up whatsoever. Anyway, the “typicalness” of the shit abruptly came to an end when I saw that one of the logs had split in half, most likely from sitting in the water too long. And while the log was the standard shit brown color on the visible surface, the interior, exposed, was a crimson bloody crust of malignant rust. The log literally disguised the fermenting bloody mess suffusing the interior of the stool. I was so disgusted I ran to another stall quickly.
Someone’s shit was hiding a bloody mess; and did they even know what horrible omen lurked out of sight within the guts of their stool?
I contemplated this faceless guy walking around the mall, happily voided of that big dump, rudely left behind, satisfied, perhaps unaware that deep in his guts deadly units of blood were secreting into the colon or abdomen. Absorbed revealingly into this digestive formations. That was probably about 30 years ago and as I sat on the throne this morning, I wondered when, or if, that person died.