FIRST: Quandry Alert
The other night I went to a show. After the show, I went to the bathroom (“restroom” if you’re repressed.) I had already put on my winter jacket because it’s raining pure ice balls outside. I was happy that there was no line and that I could just breeze in and out, which is very much not the case for most women’s bathrooms/restrooms. I was so happy at the speed with which I could zip through my bladder exercise that I decided not to bother removing my jacket. I had a split second thought that maybe I should, because it’s kind of long and my nightmare is that even the tiniest inch of the back hem could dip in toilet water. But I decided I am a big girl who knows how to flip the back of my jacket up.
So I flip it.
And then I hear a clack noise.
I knew it wasn’t good.
You don’t want anything to fall on the floor in a public bathroom. This wasn’t even a dirty bathroom. But it doesn’t matter. It didn’t matter.
My glasses fell in the toilet.
I really like these glasses. I fucking love them. I need to fucking wear them everyday. I stood up, and my heart sank, like glasses falling into a public bathroom toilet. But then I experienced the thing I’ve heard mothers can experience when their baby is trapped in a burning building or under a car. Selflessness. Complete bravery. Adrenalin coursing through my veins, I reached into the toilet and pulled them out.
I proceeded to wash my hands for about thirty minutes, all the while feeling a peculiar, rare and yet familiar form of sadness. The sadness of Toilet Taint.
Of course I washed the glasses. Of course I did. But in my heart, I don’t think I can ever wear them again and not think about the fact that they were in a toilet, where people piss and shit, and now they will be on my face. I mean, even if they could be medically boiled – deep down, between the molecules, some poop or pee must have rushed in. Don’t you think? I haven’t made a final decision but I know myself and I know how I feel when things fall in the toilet. I feel like I can’t love them anymore. It breaks my heart, but it’s true.
SECOND: George Harrison Shout Out
So right now I am listening to George Harrison’s Beware of Abkco, which is the studio rehearsal for what became All Things Must Pass. If you have blood in your veins or a heart in your chest or even just any kind of skin over your innards, I really think you need this album.
I first heard it driving around with my ex boyfriend and his friend in Sag Harbor at Christmas time, about eight or nine years ago. This ex boyfriend was one of those people with a gifted and magical ear for music. He could go into a record store and flip CD’s back and forth, clickity clack, and just seem to randomly pick a disc out, without particularly knowing anything about it, and it would always be great. It was like a horse whisperer kind of thing. It was great for me because I am exactly the opposite. I want an impressive ipod full of secret songs only I know about because I have been innately cued into all that is cool in the world, but it has never happened that way for me. I used to try to buy music without recommendations, but I inevitably would pluck the one turd even the greatest artist is capable of dropping. Anyway:
We were driving around Sag Harbor. It was a freezing cold afternoon, and the sky was the color of skull. We put on Beware of Abkco and zoomed around in that guiltless way just graduated college kids and a girl on break could zoom, which was heightened even more by the fact that this was before I could drive, and there’s something about being a passenger when you can’t drive that feels especially wonderfully free, sort of a complete uninvolvement with responsibility for the spinnings of the day.
On my emotional map, everything felt far from home. We were in a rural, beautiful part of Long Island, a place of relative wealth, a place I hadn’t been as a child. I was in an SUV. I had never had a boyfriend, and now I had one I loved, and I leaned against him and watched the tops of the trees film strip past. And then there was this beautiful music that I had never heard before. Humble George, the quiet unsung Beatle, the one with the really, really bad teeth. Aw, George. The songs were infused with such painful sweetness and innocence that they made me aware, even in that moment, that I would one day be nostalgic for the perfect little loving cocoon of that car ride.
The relationship with that boyfriend ultimately, unfortunately, touched the toilet water. But not that album. I decided to keep it. It’s fricking cold outside. George still warms me up. He really, really does. I hope he’s warm too.