So it’s fair to say that I have a more intimate relationship with my bathroom than most people. When the Crohn’s is flaring up, I spend a lot of time in there, so it’s only natural.
In my new flat, which isn’t that new anymore as I’ve been here since May, the bathroom is quite good. Next to the bedroom, which is always good, clean, not damp and mouldy, and there’s a nice tub too. But more importantly, the toilet is up to a good standard. It’s not too tall – some of them that you find are quite tall and my feet don’t touch the ground which gets uncomfortable if I’m in there for an extended session. The plumbing seems able to cope, though thankfully I’ve not had a bad flat with which to test it. It flushes well and with vigour – always key.
However, recently, I had a small problem. The toilet seat came unhinged. Which is also fair enough seeing as I am generally if not fully unhinged then certainly heading in that direction. There are two little tabs at the back of the seat that are affixed – somehow – to the bowl.
One day, after using the facilities, something fell on the floor. I heard a plastic hitting the ground sort of noise – like Lego bricks hitting hardwood, but muffled – and turned around to see some sort of plastic screw languishing on the floor. Not being able to instantly identify this thing’s purpose, I set about ignoring it for some time.
A few weeks passed and the toilet seat was getting worse by the day. The wrong move to either side would surely see me fall off the stupid thing. This lead to some unsettling moments, when my gut was gripped with pain, and my legs, attached to my body via my frail and arthritic hips, were the only things keeping me upright and with the scant amount of dignity I still have sort of intact. It helps that I live alone.
Finally, I decided that it was time to see about fixing the stupid thing so after a thorough clean (it was necessary, don’t ask) I got round the business end of the seat and had a look see. What I could see was the the top of the plastic screw slotted in somehow to the plastic tab, and had to be inserted through the hole in the bowl. I figured all I had to do was re-slot it and jam it back through the holes. How difficult could this be? I thought at the time it would be simple.
It was not. It was fiddly and complicated and in the end I ended up getting the other side all messed up too, which left me with the toilet seat in my hands and in no way attached to the seat. Which was problematic. The Crohn’s baby was not outraged just then, but you never know with these things and I have learned that it is best to err on the side of caution. In fact, this is something I preach to all and sundry constantly. So much so that when I was in France last month with the artist, as we were leaving his flat he opened his handbag to show me its contents: it was one full roll of toilet paper.
I’m thinking of you, he said. I believe he was also thinking about his hay fever and how he dislikes touching anything in public, but still, it was sweet and I knew that if Things Took A Turn, he’d share his supply.
Eventually, after much fiddling and considering how expensive it would be to just get a new toilet, I managed to reattach the seat to the bowl. I was buoyed by my efficiency and handiwork.
And then, just yesterday, I heard that familiar sound of plastic dropping on the floor. I considered phoning The Mom to ask her how to get the thing back on firmly, but figured she’d either shrug and tell me to ask the internet, or cover it in duct tape, so I decided only to relate the tale to her.
The toilet seat is still wonky here, so you know, if you pop over, just be careful.