Toilet Bowl of a Stranger
3 minute read
Cleaning other people’s toilets is the most humbling experience you will ever have. Once, I cleaned the home of a boy that I went on a date with. He fell asleep watching the movie on that date and we didn’t hit it off, but he made a lot of money and needed a house cleaner. A mutual friend changed the matchmaker scenario to something different completely. He watched me cleaning his toilet and said, “You are gonna make a great wife one day”. I thought, just not yours, today I am cleaning your urine for a few bucks. Then, he fell asleep watching a movie on his couch.
I cleaned other homes. They tell you where to dust, where the key is, make the beds, where’s the vacuum. They have nice homes, nicer than I think I will ever have. His and her bathroom sinks. Christmas trees with decorations that cost more than a month’s rent. Did I covet? Of course. Sometimes though I thought they still poop- I remember the thick brown streak on the backside of the white porcelain toilet of one of my richer clients, let’s call him Mr.Fancy Surgical Equipment Seller. He and his wife had his and her books on his and hers sides of their immaculate bed, in their brick-walled downtown loft apartment. But, they still defecate and I reaped the benefit in untaxed cash. Single moms do a lot to survive.
Let’s flashback to before these toilet escapades:
When I was pregnant, I wanted an amazing natural birth. I got a doula, a labor coach. She came to my house once. My trailer door could barely open, there was a deep mark in the floor where it scraped as you opened it. The screen door was ripped. I had classic aluminum foil on some of the windows. The doula’s eyes doubled in size with shock as she walked into my home. Her eyes were probably just as large as she pulled up to the run-down trailer park that I lived in. I tried to act normal, like I didn’t notice her noticing my poverty. I was paying her but she was leagues above my world. I wanted to live her world, just a bit. I thought I deserved it. She was nice, but unsurprised when I told her I couldn’t pay her anymore.
I went into pre-term labor due to being sick from the mold in that beat-up trailer. The people that I bought the home from insulted me by saying it was my fault for not having a man look over the trailer for me. Ya know, that one of my fathers that I wasn’t speaking with at the time or the father of my child should have checked it out for me and I was negligent for not having this done by a man. Oh, the things men can do and are needed for right? You just keep that bowl shiny and let the men check things out. Oh, you don’t have a man? Shame. Shame.
I remember asking my cousin for help moving into that trailer. He reluctantly helped me even though I had just fussed him for doing drugs with my baby daddy. My family thought I was weird for asking this cousin for help. I needed to move a heavy washing machine into this thousand-dollar trailer. Noone was the right person to ask. I was waddling at this time, thick with baby. Baby daddy was last seen with a pile of pills in an even more beat-up trailer.
Always, the single mom’s fault. She messed up. That’s how it feels when you are wading through muddy water with a belly full of baby…dirty water that stinks and splashes in your eyes because your face is shoved into the toilet bowl, just trying to keep the urine from staining the seat, trying to make a buck and still feel normal…like your face isn’t in the toilet bowl of a stranger….at that point…the stranger is you, the pregnant single mother.