Thursday, 22 March 2012

Petrol - Part 1

Hello! I just got my braces in :O They're green and purple and they feel really really really really weird (enough 'really's? :P) Yeah, so that was fun :)
Anyway, I wrote this while I was away on holiday and its one of my favourite pieces :D I haven;t looked at in a while though, so if you see any mistakes please comment! it wasn't meant to be split in half so it ends in a weird-ish place :/

Petrol

I stood outside the toilet, my foot tapping off the linoleum floor. I needed to go. Every ounce of my body seemed to be filed with urine. A few more seconds and I would explode, pop like an over-filled water balloon. My eyes were watering, glued to the locked door in front of me. It was grimy and covered with scratches and splotches of black dust. There was a puddle of liquid on the floor, glinting in the fluorescent lights. Ten minutes ago, when I first arrived, I might have cared about the state of a petrol station toilet. But now, it was the least of my concerns. I needed to go.

I leaned forward and knocked the door with three sharp raps. “Excuse me, but could you hurry up?” There was a murmur in reply and then, silence. I suddenly had the urge to scream. I needed to go. Now! Ten minutes ago, the toilet had been empty. Ten minutes ago, I had been standing in this exact spot, moving into the dirty cubicle, with nothing on my mind but the anticipation of sweet relief. But then, ten blooming minutes ago, a girl had turned up, a girl with her hair in a messy ponytail. I know she had a messy ponytail, because it was the first and last thing I saw of her, as she zipped in front of me into the bathroom and locked the door. Great.

I turned around on my heels and stole a glance at the shop behind me. It was pitifully small, but then again, what was I expecting? It was a petrol station bang in the middle of nowhere, ten miles away from anything that is or ever was. The shelves were lined with rubbery sandwiches and flat bottles of Coca-Cola that lay limply on their side. A pile of sagging paperbacks sat on a table and a single assistant looked out of the window, a bored expression on her face. A line of drool connected her top jaw to her bottom jaw, which were both working furiously in an endless attempt to destroy a piece of gum. I choked back a gag and turned back round. Why the hell was I here? Everything just seemed so pointless.

I stood in front of the door and waited. There was nothing to do except think and ponder what the heck I was doing. In other circumstances, a little hindsight, a little foresight, would have been welcome, but now? No. Not now. When I was on the road, maybe, but definitely not now.

I tapped my foot off the floor and tried to force the questions away. It didn’t work of course. Sorting out one’s life is an apparently urgent matter.  So, why was I here? Why was I standing here, my bladder fit to burst, watching a middle-aged spinster contemplate her life? Just, why? I was a nineteen year old boy, with a life ahead of him. What was I doing here? An answer jumped into my mind before I could stop it. I was taking a road trip around the great and glorious Britain. I fake applauded in my head. Congratulations, brain. You are now the one and only Captain Obvious.

I forced my way through another barrage of questions and then I heard it. The best noise in the world. Flush. The sound of water running down a drain, followed by the gentle trickling of water from a tap. It was like music to my ears. Music of hope. Music that sang of a life where I wasn’t urine soaked or pathetic or any 
number of things to do with my over-filled bladder. I grinned. Soon, soon, soon...

Yes! The door creaked open and the girl walked out, her brown hair bouncing off the nape of her neck. I smiled politely, my eyes focused on the yellow enamel of the toilet. I murmured a word of thanks before giving a curt nod and speeding into the toilet.

My hands moved in a flourish, faster than what I thought was humanly possible. I locked the door, lifted the toilet seat and undid my zipper and then-Ahhh. There it was. Relief. Sweet, sweet relief. My knees almost buckled beneath me and a dumb smile passed over my face. Relief.

A day’s worth of water and RedBull takes an exceptionally long time to trickle out, so by the time I had finished, over two minutes had passed. I flushed and zipped up my jeans. No need to wash my hands - I had antibacterial stuff in the car.  The sooner I got on the road the better. I needed to battle through the questions that were plaguing my mind. I unlocked the door and stepped out into the stale, air-conditioned atmosphere. It was a nice improvement to the sour smelling toilet. I took a deep breath. Finally, I could get moving again.

“Shouldn’t you wash your hands?”

I whipped round and blinked. The girl. She was standing to my right, staring at me. Her big brown eyes twinkled thoughtfully.

“You really should wash your hands you know.” I nodded, not really paying attention. The girl looked about my age, maybe a few years younger. She was wearing a pair of tight blue skinny jeans, and a purple t-shirt with a cartoon turtle on it. A woolly jumper was tied round her waist and her red Converse were glued to the floor. The top of her wrists, delicate and mottled with dark brown freckles, poked out from her jean pockets.

“Yes, I look odd, ok? Now, are you going to wash your hands?” Her voice was sweet, and although it should have sounded harsh, it didn’t. It sounded rather amused.

I blinked again and stuttered out an answer. “Yes.  I mean, no. I have stuff in the car.” I paused, my eyes sweeping over her. “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you still here?”

“Oh, me? I forgot something.” Her face lit up and she grinned, showing a row of sparkling white teeth. 

“Won’t be a tic.” She pushed past me and walked back into the toilet. She leaned forward over the toilet bowl and stopped. For a moment I thought she was going to be sick, but then I saw her hand whip out from her pocket and grab the toll of toilet paper. Her nimble fingers pulled a few sheets off of it and then, smiling, she leaned back. She pushed past me again, and then, with a showman’s flourish, she tucked the toilet paper into her pocket. 


1 comment:

Rose said...

THAT WAS GREAT!! you know what i liked about it? it proves you can do lighthearted and you can do funny and you can do them WELL, contrary to your self-deprecating belief.

only one thing that i think might be a mistake. you wrote: "I unlocked the door and stale, air-conditioned atmosphere." which i don't really understand. just checking :L xx