My toilet has taken to gurgling. It’s kind of like the noise that people make when they are about to vomit. As it is gurgling, the water in the bowl bubbles up in sizable air pockets. Pockets the size of Big Macs. Or RuPaul’s fists. What causes this phenomenon?
I can’t remember who it was, but someone warned my roommate and me that it was entirely possible for our toilet to overflow, thus flooding our already in a sorry state apartment. Is it the rain? Yeah, I think that’s what the person said–the rain paired with a ground floor apartment. When the storm drains reach maximum capacity, the water has no choice but to displace itself into the surrounding dwellings. Like a Myanmarian refugee. Or Queen Latifah in the 2003 classic Bringing Down the House. (Not to be mistaken with 1995’s semi-similarly premised Houseguest, starring Sinbad and a confusingly alive Phil Hartman.)
Only it’s too simple to say “hamburger-sized air pockets, end of story.” Because the air pockets have become carriers. They leave behind unidentifiable debris in the porcelain. Some of it clings to the side of the bowl. Some of it floats aimlessly. So now, instead of “Look what the cat dragged in,” I will, while unzipping my fly, ask no one in particular, “What did the toilet bring in?” It’s kind of beautiful, really: The toilet, tired of being resigned to always dispose of, has broken from its fetters, and is now a producer of.
It’s a bit like that old Ben Franklin quote: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” I’m not finished. And neither is my toilet.