20. Bathroom Stall

by 4linnea

There is something interesting on the first floor women’s bathroom in King Library on campus.  The second stall from the wall (which I instinctively always chose to use) had written on the door inside the stall: What would you do if you could not get hurt? It started off with a few responses- written in different colors and with different writing utensils- so it was obvious that people were adding to the list.  Then I started noticing that the list was growing.  The last time I saw the list fully intact, there must have been at least 10 different responses cascading down the door.  Some had to do with things they would do to avoid physical hurt- skydiving or bungee jumping, but most of them dealt with emotional or life pain.  Things like: I would tell him that I love him and I would tell others what that man did to me. I’m going to be honest when I say that I would sometimes stay in the stall a few extra minutes just to take in the refreshing honesty written before me.  I always wanted to snap a photo of the door, but I never got the chance because one day I went in the stall to see all of the words had been scrubbed off- you are still able to read the question and some of the responses if you look closely.  Needless to say, I was disappointed in the cleaning staff for tearing down this beautiful work of art and human honesty.  I’m not one that will fight to the bone about censorship one way or another and yes, I know that this counted as graffiti and defacing of university property, but come on people- this should have been an exception.  If I were the cleaning lady, I would have “carelessly” walked past this stall without noticing the words, just to keep this question going.  I mean, who would expect to have a deep, philosophical question being discussed nonverbally by college females via a bathroom stall.  If this great question had not been taken down, I think the entire four walls of the stall would be full of answers to the question within the next couple of years.  I liked it because it was a nice little secret for those that knew this stall existed, and without speaking, we were able to learn more about our peers- without judgement and without weeping, dramatic stories.  Simply by sharing what makes us human with other humans.  That’s nice.

P.S. This post is dedicated to the men who I sometimes see clean the women’s restrooms.  Thanks for always making sure the females are out before you go in.  Keep it up.

Over & Out

Currently listening to: Sia- Breathe Me