Going on the Toilet

Excerpt from Hard Time by Shaun Attwood, the book Locked-Up Abroad Raving Arizona is based on.

The empty cell had three sets of double bunks and a toilet in the corner with no privacy divide. I sat on a bottom bunk. My cellmates were chatting like regulars at a social club.

“I gotta take a crap,” one said.
“Me too, dawg. But you called it first,” another said.

There was no privacy, yet they went about their business as casually as young children pick their noses. The toilet flushed louder than on an airplane, and I wondered why they pushed the button as soon as they sat down and kept flushing.

For days, all I’d eaten was fruit. Desperate to freshen my mouth, I unpeeled an orange and ate some slices. The juice soothed my mouth. But a few minutes later, I felt stomach cramps that spread to my bowels. I’d reached such a low in my life it was now necessary to go on the toilet in front of four strangers. That three of them had gone before me offered little comfort.

Searching for something appropriate to say, I played around with sentences like, “Hey, guys, I need to take a dump.” But I couldn’t get the words out. Instead, I adopted a diversion strategy: I gave them my breakfast. As they argued over the food, I rushed to the toilet, pushed my pants and boxers down, and tried my best to act like someone who’d been going on the toilet in front of strangers all of his life. The seatless steel toilet chilled my behind. Straining in vain, I regretted ever attempting the toilet. Convinced I needed to go, but was just too nervous, I took some deep breaths. Eventually something happened. But not much.

My deposit was barely underwater when someone yelled, “Goddam, put some water on that to kill the smell, dawg!”

It dawned as to why they’d flushed so much. Aware of my face blushing, I pressed the button. The toilet flushed, splashing water upon my backside like some out of control bidet. I wanted to get off the toilet, but I had to wipe. I picked up the institutional toilet paper. Course and thin. I wondered what the subtlest method of wiping was. I didn’t want to stand up and indecently expose myself. How had they done it? Seated with one buttock raised. I copied their method. All done, I ran water over my hands, dried them on my pants, and returned to the bunk.

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Anonymous said...

I luv to watch Locked up abroad episodes on You Tube and most episodes i cry. Just got done watching your episode and felt the same thing with you. I sound like a really nice cool guy who was just on the wrong side of the law and you paid for it. Your parents sound like wonderful people and I'm happy you turned your life around and not go back to make millions in drugs.

Jon said...

thanks so much

the wiganer said...

Watched your episode lastnight and it was the most interesting one so far you told your story so well.i will defo be buying your book.

Anonymous said...

Saw your episode last night, really got to me. Hope you're doing well!