Zack Bishop (zackbishop) wrote,
Zack Bishop
zackbishop

Phast Phiction Phriday, Attempt #2

"Sweet Jesus," I said when I entered the restroom, "what the hell did that?"

The old-style toilet had been bifurcated through its middle into two roughly equal chunks, like a cleaved porcelain skull with a moist pile of weird-looking sewage for the gooey organic brainy bits.  A few bottleflies batted themselves against the washroom's corners, trying to put distance between themselves and the strange pile of gritty offal, roughly the same volume as a medium kitchen appliance, that had cracked the floor tiles.  The odor was a bad chemical approximation of the usual restroom odors, as if a computer had mixed assorted industrial waste to simulate human shit.

I mean, there's digestive troubles.  And then there's blowing the fucking toilet in half.

I was stupefied, my full bladder completely forgotten.  Trying to rationalize the surrealist tableau in the room was turning me into an H. P. Lovecraft narrator, simultaneously horrified and transfixed.  Had I stumbled into an art installation?  A nanotech student's project gone awry?  In the long seconds of silence and revulsion, a vertical slice of the pile split off like an ice shelf from a glacier of filth, revealing an even more perplexing interior.  Buffalo wings, whole with the bone still in.  Recognizable -- if compacted -- slices of meat-lover's pizza and four-inch segments of party-size submarine sandwiches, both unchewed.  Fragments of particle board.  Styro insulation.  Translucent silica kitty litter, like Aideen bought for her cat. 

The Art Installation Theory was gaining currency.  Clearly -- the doublethink I'd swallowed in countless classes at University asserted itself, warming up the bullshit generator for a term paper -- clearly the artist has intended some sort of commentary... overconsumption... modern consumerism and the end products of...

"'Scuse me, man."

The janitor who pushed by me had on a class B hazmat suit, one of the orange and yellow ones they use for body fluids and things that won't dissolve organic material in under an hour.  He had the hood up to suck down one long last drag on his Lucky Strike while he muscled a shop vacuum covered with lurid red biohazard trefoils into the stall.

I tried to form coherent sentences while he arranged his safety goggles.   "Is -- was there... malfunction... uh?"  We stared at each other for a second.  His face was deeply-seamed, enough to set his eyes in a permanent squint.

"Kids," he said, dropping his cig into a pool of runny brown liquid that had sluiced from the main pile.  It sizzled and sent up dark smoke.  "Asshole fraternity bastards load up on Salucept, go to an all-you-can-eat buffet, think it's funny..."  His boot prodded the fringes of the pile and I heard the "clink" of a glass bottle scraping on the tile.

And it all snapped into perspective.  This was waste produced from one of those high-end replacement digestive tracts.  A friend of Aideen's had one, had explained them over drinks a few weeks ago; it was better to get the genuine article from Mitsubishi than to save money on the Brazilian knock-offs, he'd said, because the Brazillian companies were famous for warranty hassles.  Mitsubishi's only problem was that they were always "updating" the EULA and the firmware. 

Maybe this was one of the reasons for the updates: I could see how an idiot frat rat would turn his appetite up to eleven with a few hundred milligrams of Salucept, then download some script-kiddie bypass for the overeating failsafe on his expensive synthetic intestines to win a bar bet.  But what was in front of me... I know that a hard object dropped from shoulder height will shatter porcelain, but was he hoisted up over the shitcan by confederates unknown, or was there a fratboy out there with a hack that turned his rectum into a projectile weapon?   I hoped that it hurt the little bastard like molten steel coming out, but the absence of much blood or a fatally-prolapsed twenty-year-old in a banal sports bar T-shirt was spoiling my feeble attempts at optimism.

People ask me why I'm a misanthrope.  Here was the reason in microcosm: give humanity a new piece of technology and they will, without fail, search out the most asinine abuses of it.  And then surpass them.

The shop vacuum rumbled to life, and then the janitor and I both jumped as a chunk of the pile walked off of its own volition, frightened by the noise.  He killed the power to the vacuum and I waited for my heart to start up again. 

From the kitty litter strata of the processed shitheap, a furry ball smaller than my fist had staggered out, crusted with garbage.  It coughed up yellow gunk, then gave one clear "meow" before it collapsed, justifiably exhausted.  The janitor ripped the goggles off in exasperation.  "Cocksmoking firey hell," he said as he scooped up the kitten, "not again."

I stormed out of the bathroom, my hatred for the rest of my species rising with the taste of bile in my throat.  Usually I don't want to destroy the universe so early in the morning, but the day was off to a bad start.

(Copyright 2005, etc. etc. These are preliminary stabs at something longer, trying to find the right voice for it. Rules are as follows: if you liked it, post an encouraging comment and tell somebody about it. If you didn't like it, tell me what I can do to improve. I'm hoping to double the number of unique readers this week, to TWO. Come on, dammit. Write something in the comments. I live to amuse you.
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  • (no subject)

    I haven't been doing much with this journal the past year. (This is an understatement, really.) So the idea occurred to me that I could use it as…

  • Okay, yeah, it's been a little less than a year...

    Update follows: 1. Celebrated 2nd anniversary on Saturday. Wife has yet to attempt to murder me, shockingly enough. Either she's biding her time or…

  • Personal Life Updates

    This LiveJournal entry is simply an update of minutiae in my life, for those who are interested. To avoid cluttering up the pages of those who are…