Living Alone And Going To The Toilet In The Dark.




I live alone. Out of choice. Honest. This leads to a much more relaxed approach to home life.  Why waste a clean fork when this one looks clean enough and I was the last and only person to use it? I can eat all the food in the fridge without peeling off an angry postIt telling me to “Back the fuck down!!” I can come home whenever and with whoever I want (like that happens all the time)…or don’t want (that happens sometimes) – but that’s another blogpost. I don’t have to worry about being loud or leaving clothes everywhere – I nearly cooked a shirtsleeve recently because it was so near the pan.

However, living alone also has some drawbacks. If I forget keys inside I am fucked. There will be no one to let me in. I would have to go back the parents’ house to pick up the spare set. Now that is not necessarily too bad considering they live in the same city but it is rubbish when you only realise you forgot them upon returning from whatever you were doing. One time I came back with that week’s food shop and only then realised I was locked out. On the tube to my parents’ house, the eggs got crushed, the juice got smashed, and everything else got drenched in egg and juice.

It also can be really dull. I’m a student with a fairly relaxed timetable which means I have plenty of study free time. However, I am also really lazy and don’t like to plan anything, rather, I prefer to lounge around the flat and spontaneously decide to go do something sociable. However, at that immediate moment there is no one in the flat to go for a pint or catch a film. And it takes time for people to come from wherever they are – which is therefore why people plan. Rubbish.

Living alone also means that things that need to be changed or updated probably won’t. Case in point; lightbulbs. I’ve been living in my flat for exactly a year ( I had a flat party with a cake and a candle, no one was invited) and recently most of the lights have been going out.

Two out of three in the living room; no problem! One still works and combine that with the fact that Camden Council STILL hasn’t taken down the street Christmas lights my flat is literally lit up like a Christmas tree.

One lightbulb went out in the bedroom. No problem! Dim room is a sexy room. Ladies love dim room.

Then the only lightbulb in the bathroom went out. There are no windows…no problem! I live alone so just left the door open and let the light from the hall do the job.

For a week that was fine.

Then the toilet door started to close on its own.

First time it happened I was urinating. I heard the door start squeaking like it was a door out a horror film. Everything began to get dark very quickly. Instinctively I turned around to stop the door. This was mid-stream. Nightmare.

Second time (the same day) I was ready. I approached the door. I knew what I had to do. Door, meet door-stopper.

The door was too high up! What a ridiculous design flaw. Who makes the bathroom a few centimetres lower from the rest of the flat?? By then I really needed to pee so all I could do was steady the door, look at it to check it wasn’t moving and then proceed.

I think the door waited for me to relax and get into the full flow of things.


The room started to go dark all over again. The nightmare returns. All I could think of in that moment was a scene from an episode of Blackadder The Third, ‘Amy and Amiability’ where Baldrick talks about the life of a highwayman “Oh, I can’t help it, Mr B.! His life is so dark and shadowy, and full of fear and trepidation!” to which Blackadder retortsSo is going to the toilet in the middle of the night.”

I had a tough choice to make. Do I stay on course and finish the job blind or do arrest mid-stream and put the door in its place?

I decided to persevere with my original mission. The room got darker. I was being tested to my limits; balance, precision, memory, confidence. The room was nearly completely dark now. I focussed on the sound of the splash so if I went off target I would notice a change in sound. Total darkness. Terror, panic.

Finished. Now time to see the results. Door opened. The look back.


Mission completed.

Never again I told myself. Never. Again. The same day I took out the lightbulb, took a photograph of its details (60W) and went to Tesco. No sign of it. Went to Robert Dyas – Success a 60W! I win toilet. I win!

Back at the flat. I rip open the packaging like a present. Get up onto the chair and insert the lightbulb. But it’s the wrong one! I crumble to the floor. A broken man. I was so close. I did everything right. I looked up at the heavens. Why God? Why? The room started to go dark. Was it shock? Was it because the door was closing again? I couldn’t tell what was real anymore.

When I returned to the land of the light and all that is good I wasn’t the same man. A shell of the man I used to be. Weak, resigned to the fact that I would never find this elusive type of lightbulb.

I probably could but I can’t really be arsed anymore. Just propped a law book against the door to stop it. Sure I slip and trip over the book almost every time but it sure beats trying to find the lightbulb.

Also, the light is controlled by one of those chords and not a switch so I don’t even know if the electricity is on or off. So even if I did find the bulb, there would be a 50% chance that putting it in would kill me.

Fuck those odds I’d rather trip over the book or pee in the dark.