Kathy the Goth—a graduate from
Berkeley, California, so she said—
except not remotely true as it turned out—
was a big girl, meaning proportionately
big and dumpy and fat all over—
massive wobbly bosoms and a wide arse—
big girl but not obscenely so; she had a nice
friendly face and winning smile; but
she also harboured a strange habit which,
bizarrely, I’m not sure she
even knew about.
Or did she?

(She was working in my office
at the time but shouldn’t/oughtn’t to
have been, as she had lied about
her qualifications, which were
non-existent. Worse still, she was

Now Kathy, after pretty well
every visit she paid to
the bog, even when you
least expected it, say after
hearing her taking a noisy,
drilling, pneumatic and frothy piss,
would leave a little black shit
squirt on the front—repeat yes
on the front—of the inside of
the toilet bowl, in our
communal staff lavatory.

Her black little splat wasn’t just a
dismissable little smudge that the
next person could easily flush away,
either with a jet of directed pee, or with
another crash of the cistern; no,
it was more like a thick little smear of
tacky black toothpaste, impossible to
shift without scrubbing it with the
bogbrush, and scrubbing it quite hard.
What was it meant to represent?
A message? Like a plea?

A partial explanation came
to me much later.
Remember, now remember, that
Kathy the Goth was big and fat—
let’s keep it real—
so it dawned on me that
with those fat arse cheeks, she
must have found it quite difficult to sit on
the throne the normal way, ie with her
back to the plumbing, because
her huge fat arse would have pushed her
important holes right to the front, risking
her pissing straight on to the seat, and by
implication then on to the carpeted floor, so
instead she was obliged to “front load” the
beast, sitting astride the porcelain as
if riding a horse, her elbows resting
on the cold cistern lid, as if the lid
were a counter, just like in a maximum-security
prison, where the guard needs to see
your hands at all times.

And with all those Bay Area cappuccinos and
carrot cake slices bubbling inside her,
hubbly-bubbly, it may have been very
difficult not to pass a tacky little blip
every time her anus detected an
open invitation—come on then!—from
the welcoming bowl below, if you follow me.
But what gets me is, couldn’t she
have noticed a little black oily squiggle
against a pure white background—honestly
as contrasting as a pair of soiled black boxer
shorts lying in fresh snow—when she stood up ?
Couldn’t she have said to herself, “Kathy, you big
shit anus Goth, oh yeah, let’s deal with that while I’m at it?”
Or when she reached for some
paper, couldn’t she have thought
“Yeah, oh yeah, I ought to wipe that Gothic
thing away as well, yeah.” Or didn’t
she bother even to look down into
the pan, as you do as a matter of
simple self-preservation, to check your
sinking stinking shit for signs of blood, or
for parasites or for morbid discolouration or
for condoms filled with cocaine, or for fucking
fucksake for whatever else?
As I see it, none of these options
require unusual conceptual

I’ve heard that the young apprentices at
sumo stables in Japan, as part and parcel of
the humiliations inherent in their apprenticeship, are
obliged to wipe their seniors’ rectums
after a senior shit (and these senior monsters
probably have senior monster shits
several times a day, given their massive
food intake) because the senior fat shits can’t get their
hands round those nightmarishly inflated arse
cheeks and then into the relevant crack. Maybe
Kathy couldn’t get her stubby little fingers round
her corner either. Maybe that’s what started
her scatting, sort of like a call for someone else
to help wipe her dirty hole clean?
Or maybe it was just a Goth “go
fuck the rest of you” type thing.

All of which left me in a bit of a quandary:
how best to talk to her about it, given the
intimate delicacies involved. I knew it was her
handiwork—and hers alone—
because she performed exactly the
same manoeuvre when taking
an incidental piss at my house: she ran upstairs
for a quick—don’t mind me—visit to the loo, and
then left one of those oily little quiffs
of glistening ebony stuff for me to see.
And admire? No. Or to feel a strange
affection for?

We had a Russian in the office too, and
my brainwave was to blame it all on
poor old Vladimir (not his real name), and
so to ask Kathy if she could keep an eye
out for signs of “lavatorial indolence,” so
that working together, faux conspiratorially—
and in which I was also according her a kind of
staff seniority—we could perhaps put an
end to this profoundly anxiety-inducing
Russian/Slavic/Muscovite behaviour.

But when I confided to her—in a
lowered voice—the situation at hand,
Kathy put on her “nothing to do with
me, who cares, so I’m not really
listening” expression, which
she regularly employed whenever
anyone tried to explain anything
to her; she would tilt her head
to acknowledge she was
being spoken to, while also making
it clear that she was thinking about
something altogether more interesting, and
that, in a way, you were really just
being very boring.

She got fired for incompetence a
few months later, so I never did
resolve all that stuff about
her morbid messaging.
I should mention I once
took a piss in a flat in Athens
belonging to some hooker girlfriends
of mine, and their bowl was similarly
speckled with these little Kathy black splats. It
wasn’t their place of work, so they
wouldn’t have been able to blame it on
their clients. I really ought to have
asked them what it all meant—
those tough ladies would surely
have set me straight.

By the way, the urban foxes here in London,
—if you leave anything out for them to
eat overnight—will gobble up the scraps and
then squirt a messy wet squirty shit right
there on the plate they’ve just eaten off.
Is it territorial? Or are they just saying
“thank you my darling sweetie pie”
the only way they know how?