For nine years (1998 to 2007) I rented out a little office in the legendary Koerber Building (Ramparts magazine, KPFA radio station, and many others had previously rented out offices in the building). . . $115 a month rent. And for nine years I secretly lived in my office (it was against the law, it was zoned for business and not residential, but I’m an outlaw, man. . . or at the least a border-line criminal).
Anyways I had just moved into the building in 1998. And I was trying to be as discreet and secretive as possible. For my big fear was that if they manager or the owner of the building found out I was secretly living in my office they’d give me the boot and I’d be back to being homeless and sleeping in the bushes or in doorways — a fate worse than life itself. So I was really trying to mind my P’s and Q’s.
So to avoid detection that I was living in my office, instead of using the restroom down the hall 30 times a day, I would urinate in a “piss jar” — this big gallon water bottle that I used. And then deposit the contents in the restroom toilet down the hall, every couple of days when the jar got full of piss. I was being discreet, you dig?
Then one night in 1998 — I think I’d only been secretly living in my office for about 2 months at this point — it’s around 2 in the morning. And the building is virtually empty aside from me (everyone else — the normal people — worked a 9 to 5 at their offices and then split). So that was the perfect time for me to take my gallon jug of piss and empty it in the restroom (I’m playing it cool as usual).
Only SOMEHOW I managed to drop my gallon piss jar on the floor of the hallway. I forget how it happened. But I dropped it. And all I could think was “YOU STUPID FUCKING ASSHOLE!!” Especially when the cap to my bottle came off and all of my bright yellow urine began spilling out onto the floor of the bright red carpet of the hallway.
So now, suddenly, it’s 2AM. And I’m no longer “discreet.” In fact, I’ve just made a big fucking yellow stain on the bright red carpet.
So now I’m in a panic. There’s a big puddle of my personal urine that I’ve just dumped onto the hallway carpet of this nice pristine office building. I’m exposed. And in a very vulnerable position.
The only thing I could think of doing was getting a whole bunch of rags and getting down on my hands and knees and try to mop up as much of the urine as I could.
Then I got a bucket of water and dumped that on the carpet. To try and clean up the urine smell. And I then I dumped a whole bunch of liquid hair shampoo on the mess. That was the only kind of cleanser I had at my disposal. So I’m scrub scrub scrubbing over and over.
And I spent HOURS on my hands and knees vigorously rubbing and massaging and wetting and drying and scrubbing that plot of carpet in the hallway of the Koerber Building. In the hopes of concealing my terrible blunder. I think it was 4 in the morning when I finally gave up and collapsed in a heap in my little office that I was still sleeping in (at least up to that point).
The first thing in the morning when I woke up I rushed out to assess the damage. You could still see the remnants of the wet spot. But when I stuck my nose in it, it didn’t smell of urine. And gradually the stain faded away. And I lived happily ever after for another 9 years in my office until I finally got thrown out. The End.