Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Am A Vigilante

Swinging the door open to my left, and trying not to think about the nature of the discoloration near the handle, I stepped into the restroom, and I saw him. I have you now, you bastard. He was there, as I imagined was his habit, using the middle urinal: the one that doesn’t flush properly. This hulking, lumbering oaf of man-like appearance was the one whose foul bile was left daily to pollute the lavatory with its loathsome odor. His back was to me, preventing me from seeing his eyes, but I could tell that they gleamed with hatred for all his fellow beings, whose every breath was poisoned with the reek of his abhorrence. Fair Justice had delivered him into my grasp; now was the time for action. I must strike now, and rid the community of man forever of this pest. But what was I to do? I am a man of thought, of feeling, of dreams and aspirations perhaps, but not of violence. Were I to attack the brute head on, unarmed and unaided, his fists would surely make short work of me. But what of Justice, bespoilt thus, and by such a creature? Had her cause left to it no champion? No defender? If I did nothing, did I not share in the guilt of my antagonist? Alas, while my heart wrestled thus with itself, the brute finished his vile work, and without seeming to notice my presence, brushed past me and out the door, without so much as casting a glance in the direction of the sink, soap and towels. (Disgusted as I was, I cannot claim to have been surprised to find that he was not among their votaries.) A short while later, having fulfilled my own purpose for venturing thither, and after disposing of his filth (for indeed, all that the middle urinal requires is that the handle be held down for a short while longer than usual), I pried open the door with a paper towel, dropping it in its proper place as I departed, and sulked back to my desk, cursing my cowardice. I had my foe within an arm’s length, and in my weakness had let him escape, to perpetrate perhaps still greater crimes against his fellow creatures.

Some two days hence, I once again found myself in that same place, for though it was with a heavy heart I returned, necessity compelled me thither with what, if you will excuse my use of the term, I shall call regularity. Little could I believe the vicissitudes of fortune, for there again was my foe, and unrepentantly committing his habitual crime! I have you now, you bastard! But wait: surely I was deceived, I thought, for this was not the same brute as before. Does there exist some confederation of beings so indifferent to the plight of their neighbor? Surely not, for what could such creatures desire in associating with one another? Could there be a more absurd notion than a community of the antisocial? Nay, what I beheld must surely go by another name, that of Anarchy. I was defeated. Perhaps, overcoming my cowardice and taking advantage of my superior agility I may have bested one man, but this was far worse. This wasn’t merely a crime, it was systematic misanthropy. It was chaos. Their habitual unruliness required not the narrow blade of Justice, but the broad, inescapable net of the Law.

What was I to do? Certainly, one man cannot of himself be Law, for that would amount to nothing less than tyranny, but mayhap, like Moses of old, insignificant man that I am, I could give Law. Yes! Give them the Law, and yea, let it be writ upon their very hearts! Perhaps their malformed consciences merely had need of some dictum to follow, to lead them down the path of clean living. Morally, I was presented with little less than a Divine imperative, both to protect the community in which I found myself from further misdeeds, and also to guide these wayward souls, that they may no more offend the dignity of their brethren.

My plan having been hatched some short while after the aforementioned second encounter, I arose from my desk, and stepping across the hall, removed my latter-day Stone Tablet from the laser printer. Grasping the Notice in one hand, and clutching in the other a scotch tape dispenser, I swiftly, and purposefully, made my way back to the restroom. Destiny, it seems (and there is no shortage of evidence to this fact), has a taste for the dramatic, for no poet could have composed a more fitting end to my sordid story but that I should find once again, and for the final time, the stink of human micturation wafting through the air! Emboldened in my purpose, I strode to the spot of the offense, determined that none might catch me, and learn from what ignorable authority came my Notice. Swiftly, yet with great care, I removed four pieces of the tape, and affixed the Notice on the wall above the urinal, a rallying cry of Justice in a world of wanton cruelty. In plain letters, it read:


Having thus giv’n the Law to the Idolaters, with a flourish of my hand I pressed and held down the handle of the troublesome urinal, banishing forever the cruel injustice which I and those of like conscience had before suffered in silence. Out, foul urine! Trouble no more the works of man!
Justice, be thou ever so well-served!


Reenie said...

did you have the Indiana Jones theme song running in your head as you put up the sign? :D You are hilarious. Glad someone took matters in hand.

John Lynch said...

You know you're a brilliant writer, right?

Cecilia said...

Okay, seriously, I'm with John here. You do know that you're a brilliant writer, yes?
Also, please consider writing a book. That's how good your writing is.

DaWheeze said...

Nice work :) Always love to see a post in my reader from The Republic!

L. H. Lynch said...

I came in to the library one day to find most of my co-workers celebrating the capture and eviction of an infamous patron known only as "the Bather." Apparently, someone had been using the upstairs men's bathroom to wash up in the morning, and we suspect the same person was behind an number of empty CD cases we had found hidden in the shelves with their security locks forcibly broken open. We revoked his library card and banned him from coming back. Your story kind of reminds me of him. Anyway, good job.