A Crappy Story for a Change

2 min
Image of Fall 2020
Image of Creative Nonfiction
It’s 7:37pm, and I am standing on the arrow pointing the direction to shop in the aisle at Walmart. It smells like cleaner and cookies from the surrounding aisles. In my right hand I hold nothing, despair. I know I need toilet paper or wipes to be clean, but the store is sold out anyway. It disgusts me as I drift back toward the entrance of Walmart to return home for an appointment with the great white round one.
I am thinking. I don’t recall how something like this could happen. It doesn’t really make sense. One day everything is fine, at least here in the US it is like it always is—fine. All of that changed when rumors of some invisible enemy coming our way made it change. I could not believe it, but leaving Walmart that day was a stark contrast to the way life is supposed to be for a poor college student. I mean, no food sure, but no toilet paper? I’m not an animal. What’s happening? Thinking, thinking, thinking...
I keep my appointment with the great white round one. One, two, three, I count as I lay my hand on what could very well be the last roll of new toilet paper, I ever set my eyes upon. This has to last, but how long? A week? A month? The uncertainty grew more constipating by the minute. The only question that makes sense now is what will I have to do when this is all gone. Feigning the thought, I just go back to counting again, the last three squares I will use this time.
There’s more than just me that will notice the changes here. Disagreement, arguing, there seemed to be no way to come to a conclusion. Just do your best is all that could be said. I mean some people need to use more than others right? What if they ate some bad Mexican burritos? There were too many variables. Everyone promises to try to keep it down to 4 sheets an appointment to the great white round one.
Another day passes much the same. The third day arrives. Walking into the bathroom, is the cardboard cylinder visible? No, not this time. Funny, I never had to check that before going about my business, but now there is no escaping it. It’s either there or not. Today will be yet the third day in a row going to the store looking for the elusive relief to fear and anxiety. What once was once a week for groceries has become everyday for nothing.
There will be refills on this priceless commodity in the future. I know that to be certain. Yes I find it weird and insensitive that people are preparing to stay home for the next year and be good on toilet paper. I mean I don’t know a soul who has had to fight this invisible menace yet. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? This virus wasn’t a threat to me until it invaded my bathroom. I guess I’ll take it seriously now, until it all flushes down.
Weeks go by and toilet paper returns. Months go by and life is forever changed. With masks, half-empty campuses, social distancing hugs wiping our fears, dating, fun, and personal attention go down the toilet. I wish this virus would have stayed in my bathroom.

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