Stalled Confessions

Alessandra Nicholson

The four walls of each bathroom stall are the same. Some have engravings from malicious children who can get bored in the time it takes to pee. I wonder about those kids, those teenagers, those…adolescents. I wonder how you get to the point where you are so lonely that you decide to leave your phone number in a bathroom stall.

I hardly ever actually use the bathroom at school; it seems to be too much of a hassle. I just go there. I sit. I wait. I wait. I wait until the bell rings and gives me a place to be. When I get overwhelmed with loneliness, I think about engraving my number into the bathroom wall. Who might call me back?

For five years it was never relieving for me to cry. I felt it caused me more pain but suddenly, in a circle of my closest strangers, it was undeniable that I needed relief. Now I can come to tears watching cartoons. My emotions are amplified. Inflamed because I deprived them of recognition for so long. It’s those very emotions now that are assaulting me.

I lift my face up and away from the toilet seat, watch the swirling contents of my stomach depress below me. Wonder how many emotions I just lost. You should be able to weigh them, your emotions. Call them something like emo’s. Yeah, I just lost two emo’s.

“Hush little baby, don’t say a word” I hum the rest of the tune slowly; I can’t remember the words. Did my mom ever sing that to me? Doubt it. Or maybe she did, to be aesthetic. She’s always been into what makes her look the role, not what actions might make her a part of something.

Neglect is dishonest; most times people don’t even want to tell you that they didn’t bother to call or write. I talk to the bathroom stalls. They are always there for me, in every section of the building, waiting, welcoming. In the old building, I chipped away at the paint, left suicidal messages and signed them with my student ID number. No one ever got back to me.

I would go into the halls if anyone wanted me there. Wait, that’s not true. I would go into the halls if I could get over being too nervous to speak. I worry that I’m a burden; even in conversation, I can’t ever seem to get my mouth to say what I mean. Since I never talk about anything, when I get a chance to talk about something I talk about everything. I know it’s overwhelming to people. They stop asking me how I am.

At the homecoming dance last year, I spent the night in a bathroom stall. Convincing myself I’d actually have the courage to have fun, I hopped in the car with a friend and tortured my night away. “Hey where are you going?” they’d inquire heartily.

Sheepishly I’d reply. “Just to the bathroom” crying, I’d sit and listen to the scores of girls bustling in groups. Giggling about how so-and-so touched them as they danced, fixed Wal-Mart make-up, and headed back out. I’d follow, looking strangely out of place without a posse behind me.

In my physical education class, we were taking a walk from school to the park. A lethal combination of obesity and asthma left me very far behind the class. The teacher whispers in the ear of our star athletes. I watch them fall behind the group, stopping just short of me.

“Are you breathing okay? They inquire with capricious concern.

“Yeah” I reply, barely auditable for the fact that I can’t breathe.

“Good then!” I really want to go to the bathroom.

In the movies the lonely kids always end up doing great things. What could I possibly do? I have no talents. I used to be smart, then I stopped turning in homework and now no one believes me.

Maybe I’ll design bathroom stalls.