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To you, it’s just a bathroom. It’s utilitarian and cold. Maybe you notice the monogrammed towels or how the mauve soap dish compliments the pink accents on the sconces, but you don’t think twice about it. It’s just a bathroom. You are not a writer.

To us writers, it’s a borrowed domain. It’s a place we mark as our own, temporarily, while we give a part of ourselves away. It’s where we let go, and it’s where we know the darkest parts of ourselves. It’s where we say goodbye to the things inside of us that we thought we wouldn’t miss, but inevitably, even flushing away our waste serves as a reminder of the atrophic nature of life and love. When we poop, we can’t help but think of lost romances defined by the painfully mundane moments in a relationship – the little spats, the tense silences, and the discourteous, dismissive texts that chipped away at our union in infinitesimal increments that collectively lead to its demise. Every flushed shit reminds a writer of the things we thought we wouldn’t miss. We don’t see a bathroom. We see a porcelain and Formica mausoleum, entombing our heartbreaks thus far, through unintentional semaphores of splats and stinks. We see a story.

So we get up, and we retain a little bit of the mess as a keepsake. As writers, we never wipe. We tuck the little flecks of poo betwixt our cheeks and wait for a day where it won’t be too painful to look at them again. Where the smell of a long gone shit evokes hope through nostalgia, rather than an immediate, crushing sense of loss. We yearn for the day when we can reach into our asses, pull out a petrified sheet of poo, delicate like a dried rose pressed in an old novel, and remind ourselves that we are still full of shit, and have plenty of shit to give to the world. We know that a broken heart, however many times over, is just an ass that is waiting to be wiped. We know that an unwiped ass, is the only ass with character.

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by Nicole Mullen for Thought Catalogue

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