The Bathroom in Thai Son
Lit by a fluorescent bulb, and so the small room (roughly 4x5ft) has that slimy mystical glow which is the type of glow that fluorescents glow.
Upon entering the door, one should see:
- A large square sink to the immediate left.
- —Bleach clean porcelain.
- —A molded surface with a thin ledge of trim (surely there’s a name for the type of design) between the edge and the ovular basin.
- —Small clings and slightly larger holds of water dribbled from still wet hands or splashed from the impact of a high pressure stream from the faucet.
- —A fixture with rectangular taps and a swancurved faucet.
- A couple of steps in, to the right, a trashcan with a chrome body and a red and white flip-lid top set askew—not quite attached to the body.
- —The red and white flip-top is the sort that would be outside of a Circle-K in Austin, but smaller. The flip-lid itself is stuck open by the amount of trash (mostly paper towels) in the body, some have spilled out to the floor.
- —The chrome body has the milky dip-streaked reflection of a cylindrical mirror that wouldn’t consider fidelity as a task of its functionality
- A toilet just to the right of the sink, likely bought as a set with the sink as it has the same uncomfortably large proportions in the small room, and the same thin ledge of trim on the tank’s lid.
- —The toiletseat is ample and not too close to the wall for a human of average size to sit in comfort.
- —A chrome rail is mounted to the far wall, parallel with the practical direction of the toilet, to assist persons with physical disabilities, to grab onto for support during painful bowel movements, to scratch with graffiti if one has remembered to bring a scribe, to rest one’s poisonball head against the cool metal being when one is that variety of hungover.
- The last fixture on the tile walls (of which I will say more shortly) is a paper towel dispenser.
- —The mechanism is, at first, hard to discern. As it turns out, the entire face of the machine is a lever which one pulls down after washing their hands (and so is slightly wet) to dispense paper towels.
- —A person with foresight might choose to dispense the towels before washing their hands to avoid wetting the machine, but do people care enough for that?
- —The paper towels dispensed are stiff brittle and thin like in elementary school, but when wetted and pliant are unexpectedly cool and they leave your hands with that sharp pulpy brown smell (aside from the smell of soap, which one should use to combat germs, of course).
The tiles in the bathroom at Thai Son are darkish. At once they appear to be marble, but if one should look closely the marbling is a printed design. A close and steady eye would see even the pixilation of the digital print.
Perhaps this micropointillism adds to the sicklyreal effect of the fluorescents, striking from all angles the eyes with a pattern that is, in reality, only dots and space under this glow that blinks in and out in a binary affect. The effect being similar to the magiclamp picture boxes that predated motionpictures, but in such constant series that the eyes have no gravity of focus—no practical point on which to rest.
Finally, as one is leaving the restroom, notice will fall on the door which is thickpainted in a latexgreen leaning more towards Forest than Kelly.
At last, one might note the graffiti in heavy scrawl on the door that reads:
“ALOHA MEANS HELLO”