Ten Years of Bathroom Selfies and Other Cosmological Revelations

Once upon a time, in a long string of Worst Ideas Ever, I proposed publishing a coffee table book called “Bob Talbot: Ten Years of Bathroom Selfies”. I had considered adding “and Shitty Poetry” but my good friend Scott suggested that I add “and Other Cosmological Revelations” instead.
I probably would have gone with that.

After spending far too many hours digging through the abyss of Facebook, I realized that it was an endeavor far too sad for me to withstand. It was wintertime, my worst time, and my brain was psyching me out for the fifth anniversary of my father’s death. Just looking at the “On This Day” feature was destroying me, and I felt like my life had been trashed and burned on that shithole of a website. Fucking Facebook.

The original plan was to have a page featuring a photo, a small caption identifying place and time, and a facing page with a relevant rant/poem/post from either that day or the closest convenient day.

My rules for myself for what constitutes a “bathroom selfie” were as follows:

1. The camera must be visible.
2. The photo must be of my reflection in a mirror or, barring that, some         other reflective surface.
3. I am in the photo
4. I’m taking the photo.
5. Preferably in a restroom but this is negotiable.

I stuck to this in my selection, mostly, and I’ve posted them here for your perusal, minus the years of shitty poetry and WITTY COMMENTS that I was going to add. I had two recent ones saved that I pasted here, but the rest are lost to time, like tears in rain…

I know you’re extremely disappointed by this.

Anyhoo, I decided to dump the carcass of that idea here because it’s not going anywhere else. It was something I did to occupy myself during a rough period of my life. There’s plenty of shitty poetry on Facebook that I do not care to dig up. I threw it into that pit and I’m done shit spelunking.

Feast your eyes on this.

2008 07 03 Barnes & Noble Store #2250, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA, Planet Earth, Sol System, Mutter’s Spiral

2008 07 10

Breakroom.

2008 08 23

My razr.

10-15-2008

The only thing interesting going on is the collapse of western society which is long overdue.
I’m trying to decide whether I want to wear white football pads or black football pads after the apocalypse. Black is always in style but the white definitely has a neat 80’s look to it if you accessorize properly.

2008 12 19
St. Bernard’s Regional Hospital. Dad’s first hospitalization in late 2008.

2009 03 21

Airplane restroom, flight from Memphis to LAX, showing off some Stolen Valor from when I worked on the Manhattan Project during the big WWII. 

2009 08 10

Home, upstairs bathroom. Now I have a Samsung Blackberry knock-off.

2009 11 16

Dad’s house, guest bathroom.

09-30-2009
Hey old man with your/Silent Hill strategy guide/stop breathing on me

11-25-2009
There’s no “I” in “TEAM” but there’s one in “EAT SHIT”.

11-27-2009
I wonder how many people got stampeded to death today? The answer: NOT ENOUGH.

12-11-2009
The question is what to do with the Tooth Fairy if you are ever successful in capturing it.

12-21-2009
My bike went from a 21 speed to a 7 speed today. Oh well, I never used those lower 14 speeds anyway.

2009 11 17

Screwing around at work. 

2009 12 11

My boss’s bathroom.  That was a night.

2009 12 23

Work again. Most of these take place here.

2010 03 28

On a plane to LA.

2010 06 12

Work.

2010 07 03

More work.

2010 08 06

2010 now. I’m on a plane to Alaska. This is my old cowboy hat, which I stopped wearing because people kept calling it a fucking Fedora.

2010 08 07

Dad, at Tim Berg’s Alaskan Fishing Adventure. I’m there in the window.

2010 08 09

Store window in Anchorage, Alaska, near the starting point of the Iditarod.

2010 08 09b

In the Gulf of Alaska on the Tia Rose. Dad said “permission to come aboard, Captain?” 

2010 08 09c

The sea was angry that day, my friends.

2010 08 09d

Cabin restroom. Soldotna, Alaska.

2010 10 08

Fucking work.

2010 10 12a

Mopping overflowed urinal for 800th time.

2010 10 12b

Hrnghhhh.

2010 10 26

Fuck work.

2010 11 25

Restroom of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

2010 11 27

I had to immortalize this stupid, stupid fucking hat. I replaced the cowboy hat with an actual Fedora-esque felt hat. Definitely a step in the wrong direction. I have Fedora deep inside me. Explains a lot.

2010 12 05

Closing time at B&N.

2010 12 21

2010.

2010 12 28

One of dad’s hospital rooms.

2011 09 13

Arkansas State University. That’s my fathers Ducks Unlimited sponsor hat.

2011 09 17a

Cregeen’s Irish Pub, the summer after dad died. I barely recall taking this. 

2011 09 17b

I went home and almost fucking died. Those were great times. Wearing dad’s hats and trying to drink myself to death.

2011 11 12

A book signing at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

2011 12 12

Arkansas State University, perhaps my last day before Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Jack Shit. “Interdisciplinary Studies”. Five years later, I still work retail.

2012 01 15

Another signing, Harding U, Searcy, Arkansas.

2012 09 19

Craighead County Fairgrounds, Jonesboro, Arkansas.

2012 10 01

Restaurant in Buffalo, New York.

2012 10 16a 2012 10 16b 2012 10 16c

Some shaving at home.

2012 12 17 2012 12 17b

Little Rock Zoo.

2012 12 25

A gift from my brother and sister-in-law. It’s my daughter’s face on Che’s head.

2012 12 29

Celebrating opening at Midnight on Black Friday.

2013 02 23

Dropped a register loading up at Harding and sliced my finger on the register paper blade.

2013 05 26 2013 08 01

Some angry bald idiot.

2013 10 17

Ex-wife’s orthodontist’s office. Jonesboro, AR.

2013 11 20

Gained 20 lbs, grew a beard, started wearing sweaters.

2013

Cregeen’s.

2014 08 21

Fucking around with the merchandise.

2014 09 28

Hotel in Puebla, Mexico, at my brother’s wedding.

someone thinks they’re Gone Girl
the truth is, they’re a Yawn Girl
the object in her meaty mitts
that she’s mistaken for a scalpel
or Chris Kyle’s sniper rifle
is a sledgehammer
an atom bomb fired point blank
laying waste to all
men, women, children held hostage
in the glow of stupid radiation
the dumbest fucking radiation
the hantavirusebolaAIDS
that she wishes was a laser
tear down the walls
I shot the Archduke
and she murdered Europe

2014 11 25 2014 11 25a 2014 11 25b

2014 12 05 2014 12 05a 2014 12 22a 2014 12 22b 2014 12 22c 2015 01 21 2015 01 25a 2015 01 25b 2015 01 25c 2015 01 25d 2015 01 25e 2015 01 29

At home, celebrating getting to see my children. There aren’t many Cora selfies because she wouldn’t stay still. I had Bea in the football hold so she pretty much had to participate.

America
Shall I compare thee
to literary dystopias
or fascist clowns of yesterday
elicit laughs and shaking heads
dismissal of the slow crush
from people who know better
after all, it ain’t that bad
America
Empire seat of the world
poor Southern men weep
as that guy from The Hangover
puts children to sleep
and dirty hands
with fat farmer tans
echo “savage”
crocodile tears and the raising of beers
to our modern Achilles
the Man With Two First Names
who slew the dusky hordes in New Orleans
(or so he said)
dented Ventura’s dimpled chin
(or so he said)
And, Justified, did work for us
(or so he said)
’til chaos or your God, etc.
sent the Marines to Rough Creek
to put down a rabid dog
America
there are heroes, still

2015 02 15 2015 02 15a 2015 02 15b

Brushing our teeth.

2015 02 25 2015 02 25a

Memaw’s house, Judd Hill, Arkansas.

2015 07 06

Lost 15 lbs. Started lifting, BRO. GONNA GET SWOLE BRO.

2015 08 07

First Great Western train from London to Cardiff.

2015 08 08

Had to include this one by Gina.

2015 08 08a

Outside the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, UK. This is a reflection off the surface of what we call the Torchwood Tower.

2015 08 23

The garage.

2015 08 25

Hell, USA. Replacing a toilet seat. This is the new one, of course. The old one covered me in piss rust.

2015 09 26Still kicking.

2 thoughts on “Ten Years of Bathroom Selfies and Other Cosmological Revelations”

  1. Holy crap, Bob. This is great stuff. Not just the time progression stuff or the other cosmological revelations, but the subtle, maybe even unconscious/unintentional, interweaving of the stories of loss, suffering, and meaning. I think your story is beautiful and touching, and even if you shelve it for a while for now, I think it deserves to be told.

  2. Thank you. I may still. It’s the rump of an idea, and the hard part is spending hours scrolling through thousands of posts on Facebook. Things are accessible but their tools for looking things up are cumbersome as fuck.

    There are more photos and tons of poetry/ideas on there and I hate the idea that they’re buried, but I also don’t cherish the thought of getting up to my elbows in that cow’s rectum of a site again to retrieve it.

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