There was no toilet paper to be found in the men’s room stalls at the shelter; just a foul smell. Knowledge checked both stalls; the one for handicapped, wider, better to stretch out…… take care of business…… smelled the worst; upon further inspection the evidence was clear: a brown mass floating upon murky water while barely clinging to the side of the bowl. This mass had no defined shape…. no length…. nor width; just a thick coating waiting to be flushed down the pipes.

The other stall…… less wide…… confining… had water rising to the top….. ready to spill out and flood with a stagnant golden liquid; traces… markings left behind on a cracked seat; dark black streaks lingering from the past; a choice had to be made…..a gamble….a roll of the dice.

Knowledge walked over to the sinks…. ran lukewarm water over his hands; no soap in the dispenser; ran the wetness through his greasy thick black hair and pulled five long paper towels with the magical wave of a hand.

“Eeenie meenie miney moe,” pointing at each stall to the syncopation of his voice, “catch a junkie by his toe,” eyes closed and continuing to point back and forth, “if he hollers let him go,” the pointer finger was beginning to slow-down, “eenie meenie miney moe,” eyes opened and the thick finger pointed at the handicapped stall: some guys have all the luck.

Knowledge pulled in his breath and quickly opened the stall’s heavy swinging door….. pushed the small steel bar into place for a secure lock and continued holding his breath. He stood as far away from the shit -filled toilet as possible….. turned his head to the other side with pinky extended, “Don’t overflow motherfucker…..do not overflow….,” whispered while pushing down ever so gingerly on the silver handle only to discover……nothing……..no resistance at all; the handle flapped up and down while a slight gurgling sound surged from the depths of the bowl.

He walked out of the stall holding all that was bound up inside of him……mumbling to himself, “Fucking bums.”


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