Toilets: The Substance Of Grace

By Daniel Tiernan

I need to get off this bus and find a toilet. 
Cow tongue for dinner probably wasn’t the best choice last night. 
So much for being adventurous. 
Yup, I’m getting off. 
It’s pouring rain and I don’t think there’s a public restroom in the area. 
There wasn’t one in the grocery store last time I checked. 
Living in South America has been a good experience, but if they give me a comment card on the way out, I’m going to recommend more toilets. And apologize to anybody who was forced to witness a white dude shitting in an alley somewhere near the corner of 12 de Octubre and Mariscal Foch. 
Is there an alley here? 
I don’t have much time. 
Wait, that brewery I haven’t been to yet might have a bathroom. 
In from the rain, I ask the hostess. 
Yes, in that direction. 
The toilet marked for the male variety of humans is occupied. Or, at least, it’s locked. I don’t wait around to see if there’s an actual soul behind the door. 
I’ll use the women’s if necessary. If it’s open, no scrutiny will descend until I emerge. 
Thank god. 
There’s a third. A family toilet? Or for wheelchair users? 
Doesn’t matter. 
Right now it’s for me. 

Relief. Thank you jesus. My panic dances away on the throne of mercy. 
I used to be a fervent believer. This would have been another example of grace. 
Now, I’ll leave it up to good fortune. 
I’m sure a poor soul is shitting in the alley somewhere else in the world. 
For now, this brewery is my savior. 
I should repay it and become a patron. 
But when I leave the restroom, I see a clear path to the door. 
I hope that grace is real and stride through the entry, back into the rain. 

This piece is from The Feminist Toilet #1. To go back and read more, click here.

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