Theme I: Bathroom Mishaps; Introduction

The night before my first pitch meeting of the semester, my ceiling was pouring out shit water.

My roommate, my boyfriend and I went out to get Sixteen Handles and left my roommate’s mom who was napping on the couch. Not 20 minutes later, we return to see all of our trashcans aligned in front of my roommates door, our kitchen towels sopping up our wooden floor, and my roommate’s mom frantically talking on the phone in Spanish. She asked us if it’s raining outside as little pellets of water hit her shoulders. We informed her it wasn’t.

After some investigating, we realize that our neighbors above us are throwing a party and that one of their drunken guests had fallen on the toilet and broken it. The water coming from our ceiling was due to the now-broken plumbing which resulted in that apartment’s sewage finding a home in my roommate’s doorway.

Everyone has had bathroom mishaps. Sometimes you’re just too drunk and you break a toilet. Or maybe you really had to pee while romantically walking along the Hudson so you duck in a bush and pop a squat. Enjoy this week’s Under the Arch theme and welcome this semester’s writers.

Much love,

Tia Ramos, Under the Arch Editor

Theme I: Bathroom Mishaps; “Ode to a Toilet”

By Jenny Levine

Last night I had an intimate talk with my toilet.

She asked me, “How do you do?”

I responded with a mix of sushi, mac and cheese and tequila–

I don’t think she liked that at all.

In the morning, she refused to flush.

But, that’s not unusual, my toilet is very particular about how you flush

Up, down, round and round

I don’t think she likes me at all- or maybe,

She likes me so much that every time my pea sized bladder needs relief

She decides to give me an extra arm workout

(god knows I avoid the gym like I avoid personal responsibility.)

After our 3 am chat, I decided I needed to branch out

So at my 9:30 lecture I befriended a lovely toilet I named Hortense

She was low enough to the ground so I could crouch like a baby,

Or a woman on her menzies,

When I talked my talk of burping and colorless spit,

I knew I’d found the one.

Yes ladies, the one you go to Kleinfeld’s with Randy by your side,

But much like the tormented Odysseus, fate had other plans

I in fact did have to to attend lecture.

When I slipped back into my cinder block home

I knew amends would have to prepared

So I poured one out for her, Ole Reliable, my porcelain throne,

This is for you, may you always be there to flush down vomit

Or if I can’t make it, maybe the sink will do.

Theme I: Bathroom Mishaps; “Bathroom Mishaps”

By Mimi Demas

She’s just debating on whether to buy pulp or no pulp.

“Does anyone even like pulp?” Robiel says, not even glancing up.

Sara shrugs. “I don’t know,” she says. “I don’t like pulp but we always buy it. Do you think Mom cares?”

I shift my hips and say, “I have to pee.”

Sara finally looks at me over her shoulder. “I know. You said so in the car. Just wait until we’re done shopping, Sweetie.”

I mumble an agreement. I try to keep moving as much and as rigidly as possible. “I Got A Feeling” is playing on the Target intercom, with the occasional interruption from an employee calling a Jennifer or a Todd or a Queenie to various isles and registers for assistance. There’s about a hundred cases of water bottles in the isle that I’m awkwardly pacing past. My sister finally drops a pulp-free jug of orange juice into the cart and we continue shopping. We came here for fucking girl scout cookies. Why are we grocery shopping?

And then the bitch is back at it again with creamy or crunchy.

“Sara, I really have to-”

“Fine,” she snaps. “If you can’t wait then just figure it out yourself. I’m busy right now.”

I look at my brother, who still does not look up from his phone. I’ve never been in a Target before. I don’t know where the bathrooms are, but I do know I’m not getting any help from them.

So I’m wandering around Target for the next fifteen minutes, and I don’t know where the bathrooms are, and I have to pee so badly that I spend a solid five of those minutes standing in the diaper aisle quietly contemplating.

Then I leave because, you know, fuck that.

And I’m sidestepping (so my bladder doesn’t rip me a new one) to the Starbucks near the exit thinking, “Maybe they know where the bathroom is or maybe they’ll let me piss in a cup,” and then I see them. The bathrooms were right by the entrance.

That’s why my sister said to wait until we were leaving.

As I’m thinking this, the most populated Asian family I have ever seen in the state of Georgia walks in and just stops to stare at me. And that’s when I realize I’m fucking pissing myself in the entrance of a Target.


Theme X: Love & Sex, Introduction

About two months ago, I got a text from my roommates then-boyfriend: “Hey Tia, will you write a haiku about blumpkins for me?” Charles knew I was the right person to ask—someone who gets equally as excited about poetry as they get about sex. If you talk to me for more than 10 minutes, I will find a way to work sex or my own personal love life into the conversation. When WSN came out with an anonymous column titled “Love, Sex & All the Rest,” I thought there was no better way to celebrate its birth than to dedicate the Under the Arch theme to the very relevant topic of Love & Sex—because what college student isn’t constantly thinking about either? Enjoy this week’s sex-ploration (lol).

Happy Reading!

Tia Ramos, Editor