To Modern Plumbing,
I met you in the bathroom of the Glasshouse in Sligo. You told me your grandparents were buried by Yeats and that you wanted me to marry your brother. Then you freaked me out with a lecture on Northern Ireland and the Protestants, but at least we were drunk. At the cemetery Yeats’ is buried at I tried to find the name you told me, McLean. I couldn’t find it but then I thought it was okay because you were just a drunk girl I met in a bathroom. But, somehow I felt I still owed it to you.
I met you in the Ladies Room at Swagman’s and you were terrified when I walked in.
“There’s no toilet paper in the guy’s bathroom sorry.”
“Oh thank God, I thought I was supposed to be the embarrassed one in this situation.”
“No, no, that’ll be me. Well, sorry.”
You walked out and then later I saw you at the bar. I told you I liked your sweater and you told me I needed to wear my hair in a ponytail because your hair was in a ponytail. I played along and then we split off until I saw you again in the back part of the bar where there’s murals of leprechauns and lips smoking. You came up to me and took my glasses off and kind of hid them from me.
“I can’t see.”
“You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”
“Have you ever left Ireland?” I said laughing.
“Can I have my glasses back?”
No one can ever guess Italian, can they? As I kindly explained for the umpteenth time in my life that no, I’m not Egyptian but I have a theory I was in a past life, you let me have my glasses back.
“I like them, but you should wear them less.”
The toilet at Garavogue’s:
I sat on you for too long wondering if I should send someone a message or not, and you provided me with guidance. I also want you to know, you were the prettiest toilet I’ve seen in Ireland yet.
When the nightclub didn’t let us in you brought us to a fast food place that “has clean bathrooms.” When we got there a girl was puking her brains out and the only people in the restaurant were either sixteen or sixty. On the way to the back where the alleged bathrooms were a man shouted at me, “Come here I know you’re not from here.” I told him kindly I couldn’t talk and it would be best if he just finished his cheeseburger.
“Wait does anyone else have the spins?” said Michaela. I lied and said I did because I don’t think I ever knew how to get properly drunk like that.
For the record Thermos, the sink was no where to be found, the toilet paper was sandpaper just like in the rest of this country and I don’t even remember there being a door to my stall.
I don’t know why, but you gave me a twenty four ounce expensive beer to take home with me. You said, “Just so you remember me.” I told you I had to go to the bathroom.
There, in the stall that was previously “blocked” for most of the night, and also the same stall that the day before my pants broke in, I wondered if you were hitting on me. It didn’t really matter because my greater concern was the slice of pizza in tin foil in the front pocket of my purse. It came from the Italian quarter of Sligo, and it was very dear to my heart because there was just enough garlic on it. I checked if it was okay and when all seemed to be in order I went back to the patio of the bar.
When you found me again you told me a story about your brother in law and your niece Lily.
“So, you said you lived in New Orleans. I’ve got a story for you.”
“Go for it.”
“You know that King cake shit you guys like?”
“Well, Lily wanted some because they like to culture their family and shit. My sister obviously had to order one online from god knows where and they called one day. My brother in law took the call and they said it was the king cake company calling. He left a note on the fridge that said, “Hi honey, the KKK called.”
“Oh, fuck you’re kidding me.”
“The best part is years later Lily came home from school one day all worried and crying because she thought they were somehow, in Ireland, part of the KKK in America.”
“My question is who thinks cake and company are spelt with a “k”?
We laughed for a while and I left.
You’re up on a cairn, so you don’t have a bathroom where you live. Well, I really fucking needed one and when the rain came my bladder started to cry like the sky above me. The view was worth it though, and you really do have it made up there. On the way down, as the hail was reddening and ripping at my Dumbo ears, I thought about the time I peed my pants at a Little League game. Nobody noticed that time, and maybe no one would now.
The toilet in the arts building:
I bet you get lonely in these summer months. You felt pretty stagnant to me when I wandered in with your posters for hotlines and arrows to where the free condoms were. I remain loyal to the stall on the right because I like reading the gossip on the walls and looking at the doodles. I think about the people that filter in and out of here putting on makeup or blowing their nose, and I’m sorry there not around for you. But, I’ve got a small bladder and a big heart so I’ll see you soon.
a loyal customer