“That way.”
I gingerly walked towards the row of outhouses and stepped over the hose that was lie in front of the doors like a snake guarding its territory.
My eyes darted back and forth.
I held my breath as I stepped inside.
I closed the flimsy wooden door.
Sweat poured across my brow and dripped down my legs.
Flies flitted between my ankles and around my face.
A moment before feeling relief, I looked up, then down and there it was staring up at me, the squatting pan.
I stepped onto the platform, circled it.
“Do I face it head on?”
“Or turn and face the door, my back to the wall?”
Three more trips around the sun, at least it felt that hot.
The ground was slick.
One small slip might land me face first on the edge of the giant trough.
“Why is there a trough in here?”
“Is that a tub?”
I looked in the mirror. Steam filled, from the heat.
Water dripped from the hose. Back to the pan.
The center drain was like a small face, mocking me.
I sized up the porcelain edges.
“Would they crack under my weight?”
Surely, I was three times the size of anyone here.
I had to decide, it was getting hard to breathe.
I straddled the entire pan. Stiff as a board.
Legs straight. I dropped my shorts.
Bladder control.
I stepped outside into the fresh air.
Time to go back and face the beast.
I stepped over the hose.
Faced the door.
Straddled the pan.
Dropped my shorts.
Slight bend in the knees.
Drip, drip, drip.
Air dry.
Wash hands.
I think I did it wrong.

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