Random thought—of course, this section is not to be considered for publication in my Collected Works unless it is deemed particularly telling about my personality and/or mind—and I’m afraid that it will be deemed relevant unless our sensation-driven culture has reformed by the time a volume of my Collected Works might even be considered. This is included for completeness.
My thought is that I am embarrassed by my excrement—or maybe it’s better to say “burdened,” and also more succinct to say that I feel burdened by my need to shit. And to deny critics the satisfaction of assigning me a Victorian discomfort with the bodily, with the base, or the worldly—that’s not what I would say this impulse is. Or at least maybe a little—in the sense of public embarrassment, how I don’t like going into the toilet stalls in the Greg Hall bathroom if other people are in the bathroom (if they’re only in stalls, no problem). I don’t like facing people, especially other people I know, like WILL staff, when I go into a stall. …
I don’t mind coming out of the stall afterwards as much as I don’t like seeing others as I go in. And I’m sure to wash hands after, because it seems so gross when I witness others leaving stalls and then grabbing the door handle and leaving the bathroom. That’s just sick, and that’s why I grab door handles by the lowest part of the handle, and with my pinkie finger, or with my cuff over my hand, if I’m about to eat. My assessment is that most people grab the top of middle part of door handles (the vertical-bar kind) because the top is easier to hook and the middle is closer to the natural hand height of most people.
It feels strange to write this—except that it also feels freeing, good to get off my chest, because these are exactly the same thoughts—legitimizing reasons—that go through my head any time I use the bathroom.
[From Sat., 14 Feb. 1998, Journal 21, pages 44-6]