Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

They Had To Wait

Posted on | July 10, 2017 | No Comments

Most of the time you’re all part of one big happy family when you wait for the bathroom.

You’re impatient but when you’re outside on those doors you’re all playing for the same team.

When your time comes up you leave the nest. Become your own person and the source of inconvenience to every single person in that line behind you.

People aren’t sympathetic to the person keeping them from using the bathroom when they need it.

“What’s taking them so long?” someone will loudly wonder.

You’ll agree with them. The person inside the bathroom is probably a murderer. An awful person doing an awful thing with no consideration for the rest of the world. You’ll forget all those times when going to the bathroom took you a couple minutes. In the line you’re a 30 second person. A member of a union of reasonable bathroom users. Waiting for pissing Hitler to do his business.

Once you make it in you’re the enemy.

You become Pissing Hitler and the clock starts ticking.

It’s fair. It’s the way things are.

And often you don’t give a shit about the assholes banging on the doors like a couple of maniacs. You waited. You deserve this. This is your time.

You hate the people who desperately struggle with a door knob that will not make any difference. You think they’re impatient and idiotic.

Don’t they realize this is a careful business that needs attention paid?

We all know these moments.

This isn’t your ordinary bathroom war.

At first there is a joking irony in the line and I exercise kind compassion.

I note that someone was behind me. I was sitting and he was standing and he made the decision to go to the bathroom first.

It’s his turn.

I let him go in front of me. He thanks me with his eyes.

We wait for a bit.

His eyes lose their friendly shimmer. He becomes troubled. He has much to attend to.

The change in the line’s temperament is probably my fault.

It’s also fair to say that an adult should be able to take notice of an obvious line of people waiting to use the bathroom.

See there were trailblazers. Thoughtleaders in disruption. Who pretended there wasn’t a line and needed to be reminded.

The first of the trailblazers bolts through the line with no awareness, assuming a bunch of strangers are congregating near the doors because they like the view and moves for the opening bathroom door like an Olympic sprinter.

“Hey,” I say, first harshly then modulating my tone to be more playful and Pee Herman like. “There’s a line. BEEP! BEEP!”

She startles. Stares at me. Shocked by the cartoonish warning. I see her momentarily fight back a wave of shame. My attempt to be cute has backfired. Hatred glimmers in her brown and white eyeballs.

“I didn’t notice the line,” she says.

I say nothing. I just beam at her like a little baby angel. I believe her. That’s what my face says. Even though my heart knows my face is lying.

“I wasn’t going to skip the line. I just didn’t notice it.”

This is untrue but I don’t really care. She clearly would have walked through the door and into the bathroom. She doesn’t give a shit about democracy.

People are unreasonable when they have full bladders. Maybe this kind looking frazzled woman has to take a huge shit and can’t wait. Maybe she is in this coffee shop for this express purpose. She’s also in a line of people least likely to have sympathy for her. Nobody stands in line for the bathroom unless they have to. She may be fighting a war but there’s artillery fire everywhere.

Welcome to hell, lady. Welcome to hell.

“Totally,” I say. “Sorry.”

Easy to concede defeat.

My first line friend makes his way into the bathroom.

We go back to waiting. My first enemy gives a stretch, lets go of the tension and gets into fourth or fifth position in line.

I’m next.

All I have to do is wait a little longer.

I will not be visibly impatient.

Until a second early 30s woman walks past the line and starts banging on a door. Call her Jenny.

“Yo,” I say. “There’s a line.”

Maybe I shouldn’t have made the same mistake so shortly after the first time. This time Jenny explodes. She doesn’t like the yo.

“You weren’t standing,” says Jenny.  Her next words come rapid fire and vehement. “I didn’t see a line. Jesus.”

Someone behind her notes that he is also in line. That there are five people who are waiting. She is sixth.

She keeps her focus on me.

“You don’t have to yell at people like that,” she says.

I didn’t yell.

I’m not tempted to. The door opens.

My time is at hand.

“My turn,” I say, full of joy and celebration.

I go inside. I close the door. I check the stall. Nothing gross has happened.

I sit.

I hear her outside.

“Who the fuck was that guy!” she exclaims. “Like I would just butt in line if he was standing. Why was he sitting?” she ask.

The first trailblazer is on Jenny’s side unfortunately.

“What is he the fucking line police?” demands the Trailblazer.

“And that voice!” she shouts.

What’s wrong with my voice?

“Holy shit was he a prick!” agrees Jenny.

My feelings are moderately hurt.

There’s also a strange pressure in the powder keg of hatred a few feet away. These people wish me harm while I’m in such a delicate state.

I ignore them. But I know it’ll be a long time before I accomplish anything. I can’t concentrate. This isn’t going to happen. I get up. Maybe I should just go.

“What’s with him? Why is it taking him so long? Jesus Christ.”

“I know.”

Fuck them.

I pull my phone out of my pocket.

They broke the Geneva Convention of Bathroom wars. Keep your complaints quiet. The person in the bathroom is in charge. You have your snarky good humor. They have a door that locks.

I scrolled through my Facebook feed. Jay Dahl posted a link to a New Yorker article called “The Uninhabitable Earth”. It was about the horrors of global warming and how soon we will feel the consequences of our mismanagement of the earth. It was about seven thousand words long and was profoundly disturbing.

They were rude.

They were spiteful.

They had to wait.

 

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    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on twitter.com/colonyoflosersand twitter.com/quimbo. If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out Mindyourmind.ca. I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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