The best part about working in the Taipei World Trade Center, is the amazing access to dozens of 3-star restrooms. After 1 year (approximately 464 pounds) of shits, the newness has sort of worn off. Still, there's always seat covers, soap, and paper towels. The toilet paper is perversely single-ply and notoriously shy, retreating into its dispenser, the chameleon, resisting the furtive phalanges of its jilted groom. The only solution is to fold sheaths of toilet paper whilst doing one's business, which creates a disturbing visual metaphor, separated by the isomorphism of decency and the capricious gesticulations of one's body -- an unwitting trio of duodenum, wrist, and knee. Like a triumvirate of steely efficiency, post-neo-deconstructionalist architecture, tangent to rest or room, converting the body into a mere machine and distorting the affair into a wiping race. Losing the ability to read one's paper, board random trains of thought, or just plain zone-out. It is to shitting what pig-fucking is to sex. I half expect to hear Dueling Banjos echo over the docile speaker in the ceiling.
Regaining my sanity, I stand and fish for the seam of toilet paper in the frustrating folds of the dispenser -- like finding the edge of a translucent roll of tape, except my balls are dangling and there's a huge pile of feces shouting insults to my humanity. It's disgusting. Trying to hold my pants up with distended thighs, avoiding the lurch of the used TP bin, gravity beckons, and my head flushes with the panic of actually falling into the ochre mound of fetid defecate. Dreary legs buckling, where's that infernal seam!
The floor length windows always deliver a sliver of sanity into this dungeon replete with dragons and the occasional dice roll.
And though I appreciate their duties and actually love them like distant relatives, the cleaning staff of the World Trade Center are prone to terroristic type entrances and tend to be on the slammy side of the closed-door debate. Fine. Clean your loudest. Restock your gruffest. Spray and wipe your most aggressively. Just please keep that mop away from the imaginary safety zone of my stall. But the year is 1939, my stall is Poland, and the mop's name is Helmut von Lichtenstein. I cower and feel violated. Unsafe. The mop slurps and slithers while my white-knuckled fingers cling to the Financial Times. Oh the horror. I just want to be free to do my work. Frei macht arbeit!