Burrito: large, loose, wet. 6/10
Milkshake: watery, but sweet. 5/10
Squeeze past some French tourists. Down some stairs. Oh, there’s more seating. Empty. Need a wee. Cupboard toilet. Locked door. Walls covered in newspaper articles, one written by Owen Jones slamming Corbyn. One with naked ladies. Cannot work out the political bias of these toilet walls. I sit. I pee. I wipe. I stand. Reclothe. No mirror in here. Just opinion pieces. Hands washed I unlock the door but find that I can’t. The lock will not move. I pull harder. I dry my hands on my jeans and nudge the lock with the same leg, to dry it of some water-residue. My heart-rate has started double-dutching but I pull the thick metal lock relatively calmly. Was that a little slide?
I’m locked in.
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck why does this happen I’m locked in a fucking harry potter bedroom toilet covered in tabloids in a Scottish burrito restaurant. I hyperventilate, of course. I sweat and my pits become cold. The walls tremble and Owen Jones’ words fly towards me. I sit back onto the toilet with the top down and push at the lock, my feet compacted to the walls either side of the door, ankles buckling, my hand-skin sore with the sharp edges of my captor. That metal curl. The manacle of my imprisonment. It has two little notches on the metalwork that seem like squinting, violent eyes.
Someone will come down to check on me.
Sure I was alone, eating.
Sure the restaurant was relatively empty, aside from the French tourists.
Sure when I went to piss there was no-one at the counter.
But there are procedures. Businesses have plans. If someone is trapped in a toilet, they are not left to rot. Their god damn dodgy lock. It’s their god damn fault. Maybe I’ll sue. How do you sue? Lawyers. Tiffany. She’s a lawyer. Not sure she sues people. Does a lot of bird law. The air in here is perfumed and sickly. Parma violet air. My anxiety rockets when I see the small window behind me, not big enough for a small child to fit through. As if it were a viable escape route before I saw its size.
How long has it been?
Entering the restaurant: 3.14 pm
5 minutes to form the burrito
5 minutes waiting for my milkshake
10 minutes to eat
17 minutes to eat when checking Facebook oh my god I’m an idiot so I get my phone and there’s no service fuck
WiFi? Not a chance.
Maybe I’ve been tricked. Maybe I’m being kidnapped by the burrito chain. I drink from the tap that could be poisoned. A wall advert asks if I’m satisfied with my network service provider. I’m not satisfied with the space I am occupying, wall advert, so do not ask me of inconsequential things. I shout. It just comes out. Like the shocked cluck of a chicken in peril. My feathers are ruffled. I cluck again. This time more of a squark.
I become an emu. My long neck curls as I try to avoid bumping my head against the ceiling. My pointy, devilish face peers at the lock and pecks, hard, in an adrenalined attempt to gain freedom. I stamp my emu legs, powerful and wrapped in rough skin. My body, which fills the cubicle almost completely, shakes and thrusts as my legs and neck stamp and smash against the door and floor and I am a bird in a tantrum, like a 2 year old child, without control or concern, I thrash. I am an untied ballooned, a huge body without direction, bursting outwards and flying around the room.
There is a knock on the door. They push the unlocked door in towards me, a thought I had not had, and it opens. I walk out, silently, as life rushes to my eyes and ears. They watch me in horror, the squealing toilet inhabitant. I go.
The burrito wasn’t so bad. It filled a hole.