July 13, 2011

The Toilet from Heaven

God has a Porta-potty. It’s true. I have seen it.

In order to avoid any confusion, perhaps I should start over.

Pregnant women have to pee. This is common knowledge. It is a known fact. They have to pee. And they have to pee often. More than often. Always. It’s natural. It’s the way of things. It’s due to pressure being placed upon the bladder by certain unconcerned (see: rude) unborns, making this unpleasant condition just one more ordinary side affect of being pregnant. And my wife, let’s call her “Pregnant” (because that’s what she was at the time) suffered dramatically, incessantly, maddeningly from this particular prenatal malady.

It was late-December. The year was 2010. A grid-locking blizzard was threatening New York City, predicted to drop inches of snow an hour for days on end. But we, along with the dog, were on our way out of town, literally ninety minutes in front of the storm, headed to the Hamptons in general, East Hampton in particular, for one last vacation (idiotically labeled a “babymoon”) before our threesome (with dog—a Welsh Terrier) became a foursome (with infant—a baby girl).

My wife (again, we’ll call her “Pregnant”) had always wanted me to see the Hamptons. This was not seeing the Hamptons in the summer months, when it has its best face forward, but still, we were in the Hamptons all the same, and something must be said for that, I suppose. The Hamptons are beach towns. And except for the people, what’s not to like about beach towns?

It was while we were headed to one of the beaches, Egypt Beach in particular, that Pregnant, the Welsh Terrier, and I saw God’s Porta-potty.

As the Great Blizzard of 2010 had made the roads impassable and impossible, we had decided to trek it on foot from our inn to Egypt Beach. The map we had of the area gave us the impression that the walk was feasible, and in nicer weather, I am sure that would have been the case. Snow and ice-covered roads. Drifts on the shoulder two feet deep. Sustained wind gusts of forty miles an hour. Needless to say, it was slow going.

After about forty-five minutes, Pregnant announced that she was going to need to pee soon (understandable, given her state), but she also wasn’t ready to turn back, so on we went, past Hither Lane, past Middle Lane, closing in on Further Lane, and then Pregnant declared that things had suddenly taken a turn for the worst and the need for a solution had now become imminent. We had to either knock on the door of what were most certainly abandoned, blizzard-buried, off-season houses, or we had to turn around and head back to town in search of a toilet.

On we pressed, intrepid travelers that we were, looking for the nearest car in the nearest driveway as an indication of human occupation.

We turned a snowy corner.

And there, all by his lonesome (or her lonesome), in the middle of a snow-buried open corner lot, sat a hunter green Porta-potty.

Even as I was certain the Porta-potty door would surely be locked, I encouraged Pregnant toward it, hoping against hope. Closer and closer we came. Finally, we arrived at its green frontage. We looked at the door. There was no padlock. We looked at the small slot by the handle that reads OCCUPIED or OCCUPADO when the responsible occupant has locked themselves in. VACANT, it read, in bright red letters. Pregnant opened the door and disappeared inside.

Naturally, upon watching Pregnant exit the portable toilet, I expected the usual horror stories. It was disgusting. It was stinky. There was poop on the toilet seat. There was a derelict perched behind the door and a pervert peering through a clogged vent hole. And enormous spiders had taken up residence. And there wasn’t any toilet paper.

The circumstances had been far from unpleasant. The Porta-potty had been fragrant (and not how one might think). The Porta-potty had been clean, spotlessly so. It had been well stocked with all the necessities. All things considered, it was the perfect pit stop.

So, on we trekked, toward Egypt Beach, fighting snow, 40 MPH winds, and a general malaise caused by bad weather and a shoe-wearing Terrier.

Eventually, we made it to Egypt Beach. And it was lovely. It was beautiful. It was late-December in the Atlantic Northeast. It was cold. We turned around.

Hoofing it back through twelve inches of snow and wind gusts threatening to topple us, it was consequently announced that someone desperately needed to pee.

And then there it was, on the same corner lot, green, unlocked, and not OCCUPADO.

On the walk back, the case of the strange Porta-potty was discussed. Under all that snow, on that premium corner property, there must have been construction underway that had been halted due to inclement weather. And where one finds construction sites, there will one also find outdoor toilets. And in the Hamptons, given its common reputation and all the usual stereotypes, any outdoor mobile rental toilets would of course be of only the highest quality. Luxurious. Regal, even. A regal Porta-potty.

Then I didn’t think about it for a couple of days.

We went to Atlantic Beach. We went to Main Beach. We visited friends in Montauk for dinner. We finished our vacation.

Inches of snow were still on the ground when we were gearing up to leave for New York (which was still in a city-wide lockdown). Casually, on the drive out of town, the topic of the Porta-potty came up. I detoured the car toward Egypt Beach. I steered down two-lane roads past shingled Traditionals and shingled Saltboxes and shingled Contemporaries. We passed Hither Lane. We passed Middle Lane. We could see Further Lane in the distance.

There was no Porta-potty. There was no construction site on an open corner lot. There was no open corner lot, just a little space on the outskirts of two already situated properties with a stop sign planted in the middle.

I stared at the corner and the stop sign until Pregnant announced that she really had to pee.

And, of course, the next public restroom we managed to locate was downright repellent. The kind of place one might expect to find in Satan’s Rest Area, a toilet in the back corner of the Welcome Center to the Entrance of Hell.

1 comment:

  1. I think I just peed in my pants. Great post.