I’m in an institutional bathroom, and there’s a big window back into the hallway where the others are standing– they can see me as I check the chairs and stools which all look upholstered and not like commodes, though I know one of them must be, somehow– but I desperately don’t want to do something humiliating and disgusting, and lift the lid on a stool and see a hole and am unsure whether it’s an ashtray or a toilet– so I sniff it, and the people in the hallway see me, the other girls all go, oh, gross. and I don’t know how to explain to them what I was doing and how I’m not really pervy and disgusting.

later– the bell for classes is about to ring, and all the bathrooms are crowded, and I’m trying to find one that’s free and, if possible, empty– and I end up in one in the teachers’ wing, and it’s really late, class is starting, but I don’t care– it’s just french class, and I can never seem to catch up anyway. so I’m pulling down my tights– or maybe I’ve managed to pee and am pulling them back up again– when the door swings open and three of my phd program professors come in– and they’re chatting like peers, girlfriends– I am caught with my pants down– finally I get the tights yanked pretty well up and go to the sink to wash my hands– and they’re standing there, talking about one’s planned weekend at the hospital for voluntary surgery– she’s saying she missed out on the variable painkillers, so she’s signed up for the “full constant,” demonstrating the device they gave her with looks like a big, heavy-handled spoon.

I’m hanging with a friend who’s recently gotten divorced– sometimes it’s the wife, sometimes the husband, but never both, it flips– and I’m petting their dog who is the spitting image of the husband– when my rocking chair pushes up against the wall and marks it, and I say, oh! I’m so sorry– I’ll fix it– and I can see by the wife’s face that she’s totally irritated and says, yeah, that would be good, and goes to get the paint– as I paint over the spots and try to spackle the holes I’ve created, I think about how it must be that her landlord is going to show the place and that’s why she needs to keep it nice.

my friend is talking on the phone with the boys, and I’m jealous of her easy banter and flirtatiousness– she’s talking about the house where the former sf rocker I adored now lives, and how small and dingey it is, but how they like it, how he says he loves living there, in sf– and my friend’s being snarky ohso cool, saying how he’s ballooned out in recent years– and all I can feel is, not relieved that I’m over it, but rather envy and more envy that she knows him at all.

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