It is time that Toilet parted ways with our family. It has been in this house for longer than we've been here. When we arrived, the home inspector informed us that this toilet was "top of the line" in Europe and ordered by all the best home designers in the US. "Pozzi Gnorri," he said. "Go look them up on the internet. They're one of the best companies in the world for bathroom fixtures." So I did and was duly impressed. However, I had to wonder what a toilet of this caliber was doing in my little bungalow in Portland. But hey, some of us get riches to rags instead of the other way around, so who was I to question things or to remind Toilet of its brilliant beginnings? I could make Toilet sad thinking that way.
Toilet was lovely; a deep, thoughtful blue, with a white lid. And the flusher was in its top! My 8 year old loved that. Look Mom, you pull this button on top rather than pushing down on a handle! Fancy! Toilet matched the deep blue sink base.
Together with the white walls and floor tile, the two made quite a striking combination. Perhaps it had been part of some wealthy household then cast off like, well, an old toilet when a newer model came along. Poor thing! I felt bad for it, but knew it would have a comfortable life in our home.
Things began okay. We got along well enough. Then Toilet decided it wanted to run constantly. I had to go buy new parts. I installed a new mechanism for the inside. This seemed to make Toilet happy for a while, but it had a needy streak and liked to be adjusted on a regular basis. Sometimes it would fill precariously close to the lip, letting me know it was the one in control and could send water spilling furiously over the edge if I wasn't careful. Okay, okay! I get it! You're the best! I'm the loser. I admit it. NO arguments here, buddy!
In an effort to mitigate any mishaps, I purchased a (blue) plunger. It sat next to Toilet like a sentinel, ready to jump in if necessary. It served its purpose well and things seemed peaceful for a bit in blue toilet land.
Then one morning we awoke to a leak from the BOTTOM of Toilet. Yes, near the floor. What the f--? I learned then, how toilets function, how they are attached to the floor, wax rings and whatnot. Turns out this was not Toilet's fault, but Floor's fault. The genius who installed our tile did not remove the previous flooring, but chose instead to install it on top, thus raising the height of the floor significantly above that of the pipe in the floor for the toilet. Toilet could not get a good grip on the base without several wax rings and over time this combination simply could not maintain any semblance of a seal. Hence the leak.
So out came old floor, in went new floor, and Toilet seemed happy again for a while. But as seemed to be the case with Toilet, this state of affairs was not destined to remain. Consistency was never Toilet's strong suit. Toilet started filling a lot. A couple of times Toilet vomited all over the floor. Something was getting out of hand. I think perhaps it was drinking too much toilet tissue and dipping into the dental floss on the side. I accused it of as much once in one of our many arguments. It insisted that it had not been doing anything of the sort and who was I to accuse it of wrongdoing? I would stomp off in disgust knowing full well I was being lied to but I had not yet hit bottom in this relationship, preferring denial.
Then one morning it was clear Toilet had been hitting the old tissue and dental floss hard and had perhaps added some other unmentionables to the list. Water flooded the entire bathroom and extended into the hall. Toilet was removed from its moorings and such a wad of foulness as one could not imagine was lodged in its innards. The primary culprit was dental floss. I cleaned up this mess, reinstalled a new wax ring, and placed Toilet back where it belonged. Toilet was chagrined. It promised to leave off the dental floss and the family agreed to keep the dental floss away from Toilet in an effort to preserve Toilet's sobriety.
It behaved itself. We were quite pleased with the changes in Toilet's behavior. It seemed as if it had turned over a new leaf. Unfortunately, though, Toilet could not maintain the facade. It began to grow gradually troublesome. Nothing regular, mind you, but the water running started again. It began to take several flushes to expel all items from the bowl. It would send water near the lip of the bowl in what seemed to be a passive aggressive reminder of Toilet's need to be in control. We bore these actions with equanimity, hoping Toilet could make it through.
But the resentment was beginning to increase on both sides. While washing my face, Toilet would take a suck of water. I would jump back from the sink in pain, my skin burned. I grew wise to these tactics and, one eye cast in Toilet's direction, would fill my hands between the water running. "You won't burn me again, you evil bastard!" I would shout at Toilet. It just sat there, looking smug. "I didn't do anything," it seemed to say. Every so often it would spit a few drops of water onto the floor. I'd clean them up and say nothing, bitterness evident in my every move. During the evening while working in the kitchen, I would hear Toilet running water every few minutes. Swish. Pause. Swish. Pause. Swish. Pause. It got to be so annoying. I ocassionally broke down and shouted obscenities at it. It would promise to behave. But we were headed for a blowout. The tension was increasing at too great a pace at that point. The only question was when.
One Saturday morning, pleased not to have to rise at some obscenely early hour, I lay snuggled under the covers of my down comforter. My daughter came in. "Mom?" she inquired. "Mmmrphrmt," I responded. "Toilet is filled with water," she informed me. Privy to Toilet's proclivities, I mumbled something at her, rolled over and went back to sleep. Some time later my daughter came back in. "Mom?" "Hamrmermppth." "There is water on the bathroom floor." "Well just put a towel on it."
Toilet was NOT going to win this morning. I was enjoying the warmth of my bed. Cold was setting in out of doors and warm comforters are oh so luscious and perfect on Saturday mornings when there is no real reason to jump out of bed. I drifted in and out of sleep. Finally though, I had to join the world and get up. I rose, yawned, stretched, lolling lazily in my flannel jammies. I kicked on a pair of slippers and drifted towards the bathroom.
OH MY GOD! OH MY F--KING GOD!! Toilet had obviously enjoyed a raucous night on the town. EVERY TOWEL in our house sought to hold back a flood of Biblical proportions! Toilet was filled to the rim with water. This was it! This was the final blowout! Toilet had to go. Our relationship had finally reached the brink. Nothing could incite resolution between the two of us.
I was finally through.
I think Toilet just could never get over its fall from riches. It could not see that a comfortable life in a lovely early twentieth century bungalow could be just as satisfying as life in a mansion. Rich people's poop smells just like the poop of the middle class. But such political edifications were lost on Toilet. It simply could not bring itself to accept that we were worthy parties with whom to share a home. Its disillusion emanated from the water in its bowl like the glow on a landfill. We were unable to help it overcome its demons. Maybe there is a 12 step program out there for toilets with a strong addiction for tissue and dental floss. I don't know. But I'm so over it already. I'm in a new relationship now. Yes, new Toilet is all white, which has been hard to get used to after the artistic flavor of old Toilet, but I like the calm. Prefer it, in fact. New Toilet flushes like a pro, trim and businesslike as it performs its duties. And Sink is still there to give us a bit of color in our lives, but Sink is content with its station in life. There is none of the existential angst of Toilet.
Toilet sits on our back porch in two pieces. It is hoping someone will feel sorry for it and take it home. It swears it won't mind that its not in a mansion, although I believe it harbors a secret hope some plumber for a fancy interior decorator in the Pearl will notice it and want it for a restored high end home. Or perhaps an artist will find its brooding blue the perfect inspiration and want to take it home to their loft, paint splatters covering the walls and floors. Perhaps Toilet could even become a planter or something else other than a Toilet. Perhaps then it can overcome its demons and turn over a new leaf, one without tissue and turds and dental floss. Perhaps then it will find true contentment.
If you are interested in helping Toilet, we would like to hear from you. Simply send an email. We will put you in touch with Toilet. The two of you can chat and see if you get along. If you do, Toilet is yours to take home. Our only request is that you try and help Toilet overcome its demons and make it happy in its new home.