So I was sitting on the toilet at my local establishment. Feeling buzzy and having fun listening to some cool music (not on the toilet specifically, but that evening). I looked up and just beyond the loo paper, someone had scrawled a message on the wall. It was a very simple message they were conveying. Without fuss, bother, judgement or offence. The word on the wall was just there. Like it had always been there. It said, “Being”.
At that very moment I was being. I was being me going to the toilet. There’s not much I can do about it. I needed to pee. As much as I would prefer to live without many of the bodily functions, I can’t. But with that word I was caught – with my pants down. Caught in a moment of truth.
The moment when you begin to question your very existence.
Perhaps this scribe had been distracted at the time and what was meant to be a longer message had been interrupted. Perhaps it was going to say, “Being tipsy at the pub is expensive” or “Being Lara Bingle is getting poor ratings on TV”. Or maybe they intended it to be a kindly gesture that had gone wrong, perhaps they meant to write “Benign” but got muddled.
Whatever it was that was happening for them was instantly transfered to me. Spiralling deeper and deeper into question. “What is this existence?”, “If this was it, would I mind?”, “Who refills this toilet paper on nights like this?”, “What have I done lately that made a difference?”, “Who brings pens into the toilet? Then must fish them out of their handbag to write on a wall?”, “I wonder what time it is?” …
I pulled up my pants and walked out into my bustling, melodious existence.
image: Being John Malkovich