He sat there pondering about the complexities of life, seeking solace in all that murk and dirt around him – from the grey grease-stained walls to the corroded pipeline, the horribleness of the place soothed his senses. Even the floor, which looked more like a shelter house for cigarette stubs, started making him feel at home. ‘This is my place, this is some real shit’ he thinks. He looks at the door critically, eyes almost squinting, making sense of its composition and minute mechanisms, partially standing – partially bending like an awkward beast and then quietly peers and stares at the commode and starts talking to his own faeces. ‘You are the real shit, my friend, whereas out there in the big bastard of a world, you only get fake shit, it’s a sad sad sad world, my happy sunshiny friend,’ he slurs and, thump! thud! resumes his introspective sedentary position.
Gripped by a state of unperturbed tranquility; nothing moves him from that zen-like mode, neither the banging on the door nor the long queue thronging outside the washroom of Queen’s Palace Bar and Restaurant. The psychedelic colours and the love messages adorning the walls made him feel like heaven, and the ‘Queen’s palace toilet’ happened to be his divine retreat. He could shit and sit here, all day, every day. ‘Roses are red, violets are blue, your pussy is always fresh and new,’ he reads one of the messages on the sidewalls and laughs like a demon possessed by an even stronger influential demon. Suddenly there’s a clink and then another clink and clank. His curiosity peaks the mountain of current happenings, and merges with a mixture of horror and fright, face all grave and mind all vigilant. The moving of the latch and the loud banging on the door makes him perspire. The bathroom that he considered so-amazing a while ago starts to seem hot and stuffy, nothing but a gruesome macabre spot, a graveyard of filth. The romantic and lust-filled messages splashed all across the walls don’t seem amusing to him anymore. Ruffling his hair in frustration, he finally musters the courage to open the door, just stretching out a bit of his hand, without moving an inch from the commode, as if he wants nothing in the world to shake this defining moment of his destiny, not even a crucial moment like this. The mould on the wooden door had formed a patchy design – a coincidental artwork resembling a peace sign, he instantly recognizes the symbol and mocks the irony of it all, and nervously starts waiting for the next moment to end all that painful uneasiness swishing like a tornado within him.
A beautiful hand, wearing grunge metallic bangles and embellished with tattoos, sticks out holding a shiny pair of handcuffs. He freezes; the saliva in his mouth starts to taste like bile at the sight of the handcuffs. He clenches his teeth and shuts his eyes firm and tight before he could even notice the hand, expecting his eye balls to burst, expecting not having to face this ugly side of life ever again. But he has to face it and he will. And just when he prepares himself to surrender, to the ever strong and mighty fate, to the clutches of destiny, to the mother of all mothers – the freakin’ mother of all future hopes and glimmers of coincidences, a female voice and a pretty face appears from behind the door. “Wanna play good cop, bad cop old man,” her seductive voice echoes through the shoddy bathroom.
He shuts his eyes, all firm and tight again, but this time, only so that he could open it and flash the coldest ‘spine chilling’ stare at her direction. His nerves are a wreck and so are his faculties. She leaves as quickly as she tried to come in, panicking and wondering what did she do wrong, shutting the door behind her like a fast-moving object that looks like a caricaturish version of a human being. He removes the tuft of bushy black wig, exposing his sparkling bald head, and holding carefully underneath it a hidden packet of a white powdery substance. “Did she just call me an old man,” he scowls like an ill-humoured child. And once again, just like that, the bathroom becomes a lovely refuge…