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Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved by the author.
It might have been art once. Stu pictured it as the artist must have seen it in the moments before its desecration by means of the flush: An inviting bed of fluffy white toilet paper and reinforcing brown paper towel, framed in thick black by the toilet seat which, he convinced himself, had the shape of a young heart pulled hard in a direction and for a distance it was never meant to go. At the center, buoyed by the conspicuously wasteful quantity of mixed paper, rested a spent tampon exhausted by its recent travail.
Though the meaning, and therefore the appeal, of the work escaped him, Stu understood that somewhere there was an audience for a bloody tampon bobbing in a toilet bowl. But that audience had missed the work in its full glory. All that remained to be seen was the sad, sodden artifact of its brief existence. The supporting water had left the bowl. The paper mixture stuck wet and flat against the sides like a failed adventure in papier-mâché. The tampon lay wrecked and abandoned in the bowl’s throat.
A realization struck Stu. “Oh! So she used that,” he pointed to the tampon, “to do that?” He pointed to the mirror.
“I think so, yes.”
“Any idea who it might be?”
He saw faint prints on the sink beneath the mirror. “She’d be the one with a bloody hand, I suppose.”