I was using the restroom, standing up while peeing, mentally reorganizing my closet full of star wars memorabilia, when it occurred to me that I had been standing there for over a minute and was still emptying my bladder. Stranger still, I felt no ease in flow, no feeling of completion drawing near. It seemed as though I had slipped inside an infinite time loop or into some seamless surreal animated gif. I stood there in my sweatsocks over the bowl, peeing in an unbroken golden arc until the end of all things. I began to think of Ode on a Grecian Urn and the two lovers locked forever in tender embrace as depicted on the Urn. I considered the majesty of it; being stuck in this peaceful, glorious moment, urinating like a common primate, celebrating the basest act of commonality among humans. Perhaps one day another being would find me like this, frozen in the fabric of space-time, like an explorer finding a caveman frozen in the ice of another age. Perhaps I would be a new Lucy for the Universe.
I looked down at my watch and to my horror realized over two minutes had passed, along with a deepening yellow bloom of color in the frothy surface in front of me. I realized time was moving forward, at least on my watch. I wasn’t in a loop, but perhaps.. a pocket of time-space that was moving slower, or faster? That thought gave way to another more insisting concern barging its way to the front of my consciousness: how long before i become dehydrated? Could I black out from excessive urination? How big was my bladder? Maybe I just had an unusually large bladder and had never really plumbed the depths of its carrying capacity before. I began to wonder if pee-length was a category in Guinness.
As minute three approached, my mind began to filter out all of the distractions of sound and what lay in front of me, the sweat beading on my brow in an attempt to focus and think clearly. I began to step outside of myself, retracing my steps through the last few hours of the day as if viewing them as an out of body experience. I could see myself standing there over the bowl from above, and at the same time, could see all of the time leading up to the fateful moment this all began. My entire life passed in front of my eyes, as my mind poured out a flood of yellow-hued images, faster and faster. I began to hear a voice in the distance. It was my own disembodied baritone.
YOU MUST END THIS. ONLY YOU HAVE THE POWER.
I snapped back to the stark reality at hand, past versions of myself coallescing into the form still standing. I looked again at my watch. Five minutes had passed. It was time to take action. I fixed my eyes on a point ahead of me; a spot on the wall where a nail once held purchase, upon which an old cartoon of a bear going to the bathroom in the woods once hung. I imagined closing the hole with my mind. I saw the hole begin to diminish, as if the drywall was healing from within. Soon I could not see the dark point at all, and silence followed. I looked down. My ordeal was over.
I stood there awhile longer, considering the bowl and the time that had passed according to my watch. I flushed and gathered myself up, taking a long deep breath. I stepped out of the bathroom and it was as if seeing the world for the first time. The world seemed to be reborn around me, as if I had indeed stepped off the earth for a short time and was returning to terra firma. To this day I cannot explain the events as I experienced them or what the cause may have been but I will tell you this, friends: ever since this nightmarish experience, I always make sure to tell someone else before I go pee, for safety.