There once was an extra person who lived here. And she painted her walls black and wrote on them in chalk. And she hung a candelabra where her light was. And there were skulls and guitars and an amp and posters and bobble heads and things I didn’t understand.
And one day she decided she wanted a red toilet with a black lid in her bathroom. A bathroom with counters covered in makeup and jewelry and assorted knick-knacks and treasures.
And then she went to college and the black walls became blue, and the posters disappeared, and the counters became clean.
And the room still saw life. Family and friends stayed there. The cats and I spent many sunny mornings gazing into the backyard. I spent time writing.
And then the room was converted to a home office because of a pandemic. And the birds and flowers and windchimes outside the window became distractions.
And then I had a very bad day.
It was a day when I needed to be with the people I miss the most. When work became so overwhelming I felt as if I were drowning. When I wasn’t sure where my heart would get its next fix. On this day, there wasn’t enough wine or chocolate or Netflix or even FaceTime to fix it.
And as I sat, wallowing in self pity, my husband (who had been working in the bathroom), moved past me toward the garage, dragging a large piece of cardboard with an old red toilet perched on top of it.
The time had finally come to replace the toilet (from the 1950’s?) with one that would conserve water.
I felt as if I was watching the final piece of our life as a family being removed from the house. I walked into the bathroom, snapped this picture and began to sob.
I’m not sure I can put into words the feeling at that moment. A hole in the floor. I felt like my heart had jumped in to avoid any more pain. It was the lowest point of the time I’ve spent in quarantine.
At 3 am, I finally fell asleep and dreamed (as always) of a normal life.
I woke up this morning feeling better. The sun was out, a breeze was blowing, the cats kept me company as I worked in my new “office”.
And when I stepped outside to take a break with a cup of coffee, I noticed that my husband had put the little red toilet out back. I had made a comment once about growing some flowers “redneck style”, and this was now my planter.
Things are looking up.
I hope wherever you are today, you can find your little red toilet.