A Tale of Two Bathrooms

The Eastern Front is a fascinating place to work. It’s a small coastal city with colonial roots. The old part of town is filled with centuries-old buildings built very closely together, with tiny, winding streets. Many places are difficult to fit the Medic 9, let alone the engine which accompanies us.

The city sits on a peninsula, with bluffs overlooking the ocean and/or harbor on three sides. The newer sections of town contain multi-million dollar architectural marvels designed to maximize views of the water. There’s at least one castle, but I haven’t been in it yet.

And then there are the houses from the 1970’s.

We are met by white walls, funky shag carpet and dark, dark wood work. The family leads us down a hallway to the patient, who lies in bed in front of a wall of glass facing the open ocean. Rain beats on the exposed roof overhead.

Our patient insists on a visit to the bathroom before leaving, and we see no reason to deny him.

Oh my god, the bathroom! Yellow paisley wallpaper on all four walls, covering even the door and window trim. The tiny space is a psychedelic nightmare, with a brightly colored tub and toilet to match. I know I’m sober, and I’m very glad I am. As it is, my budding migraine throbs when I glance in the door. I have a new understanding of The Yellow Wallpaper after standing in this room.

As we load the patient on the stair chair and start down the hall, we pass another odd bathroom. This one consists of a shower stall on one side of the hallway, opening directly onto a bath mat in our path. On the other side a small room contains a toilet and sink, a true water closet. The walls are covered floor to ceiling in black tiles, with Japanes lillies inlaid.

Somewhere an interior decorator must be finally coming down from his acid trip.

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