Jessai Flores

I was sitting on the toilet the other morning, as all good mornings start. I soon reached for my phone and realized in my groggy state that I had left my phone on my nightstand. So I was left to the mercy of self-reflection. 

I sighed. I started remembering the times I used to have my own bathroom. “I mean, I have a bathroom here at school,” I thought to myself, “but it doesn’t feel like my bathroom. I miss being able to put headphones in and turn the volume all the way up, dancing in the comfort of a space I knew was just mine.” I might not be a professional dancer, but the one-man shows I put on while brushing my teeth could beat out any pop star’s world tour. 

I don’t have that anymore. But it’s comforting to know that everyone misses “their” bathroom. At the end of the day, we are all just people who have to use the bathroom. 

Sitting on the white polished plastic seat, I came up with what has to be my single most important thought: it doesn’t matter if you’re taking a deuce on a golden toilet or blowing out turds in an outhouse, you’re still just taking a shit. 

“Wow, I should really be a poet,” I thought, as a smirk dawned on my half-awake face. 

Going to the bathroom is one of the few human experiences that doesn’t rely on wealth or education. Going to the bathroom is just…. well it’s just part of being human. The bathroom should be a safe space, a  spiritual place. Think about all of the cumulative time we spend going to the bathroom. That time shouldn’t be seen as a gross necessity, but a celebration of something we all have in common. I vote we reclaim bathrooms as a refuge. 

I will be the first to say what can happen when we don’t respect the sanctity of our bathrooms. Just a few weeks ago, in fact, I shit myself. 

It was 2:18 p.m. on Tuesday, I was folding laundry in my room. I had just had a freshly picked heirloom tomato for lunch when I dropped a shirt I was trying to fold. Being a standardly proportioned person with little flexibility, I could not simply bend at the waist to grab the straggler. I let it slip through my hands. Naturally, I squatted slightly to grab the shirt. That same motion also somehow released the delicious digested tomato. 

There I was: hunched at a 70-degree angle, t-shirt in one hand, the other hand outstretched in shock, with shame in my pants. I am not proud of what happened, but I’m not really ashamed either. Shit happens. 

By reevaluating the way we see bathrooms, we can begin to see how foolish it is to take life and bathrooms too seriously. 

The moral of the story is that shameful ‘potty-talk’ shouldn’t just be reserved for middle school boys. It should be a part of our humanity that we recognize and even laugh about. The bathroom can be a place of unity. It can be an opportunity to celebrate being alive. It can be so much more than just pooping …  it can be the great equalizer. 

Poop 2024!