August 30, 2009: Those of you who've read my first novel TEMPORARY INSANITY -- (I know there are at least two of you out there, plus my late mentor, who committed suicide shortly after finishing it) -- know that two of my recurring literary themes are 1) going to the bathroom, and 2) God. What you may not recognize, however, is how often life imitates art, as an experience I had yesterday afternoon clearly demonstrates.
I was on a lovely walk down by Burying Hill Beach in Westport, CT, when I was overcome with a gut-wrenching compulsion to evacuate. Like Archie Bunker -- another fictitious character -- I fight to confine my waste-expulsion practices to my own home, but on rare occasions necessity thwarts custom, and with my car a good mile away and my intestines roiling like I'd swallowed a live ferret, it seemed only practical to take whatever opportunity I could find.
Imagine my delighted disbelief to discover not only a clean single bathroom with a lock on the door, but enough paper supplies for an entire army of incontinent men. I indulged myself with a sort of hearty gusto, took my time and care, and even washed my hands with the lovely machine-dispensed soap foam the Parks & Rec Department provided. In a state of gratitude, I noted to myself that God (Fate, Higher Power, the Universe, whatever the hell you want to call it) had seen to lead me to this literal sanctuary atop the hill, meeting the needs of a traveling pilgrim who viciously had to take a dump.
Before leaving, as a courtesy to the next incontinent man who'd need to sit, I flipped the seat up so it wouldn't be carelessly peed upon in the coming hours ... And printed underneath in soft, blue letters, there was that word again ... as it was reported being under the toilet seat in my novel -- "Church."
An inspired company, no doubt, meeting a great need of mankind with its unique and obviously spiritual brand of porcelain. Once again the lesson was clear, as it was demonstrated for my protagonist in my book -- (to paraphrase) Dogmas and doctrines will shift and pass (if you'll forgive the imagery), but when all is said and done, here is where you can always find peace, contentment and relief -- the trappings of a true spiritual experience!