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.
Barnes & Noble Store #2250, Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA, Planet Earth, Sol System, Mutter’s Spiral
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.
St. Bernard’s Regional Hospital. Dad’s first hospitalization in late 2008.
Airplane restroom, flight from Memphis to LAX, showing off some Stolen Valor from when I worked on the Manhattan Project during the big WWII.
Home, upstairs bathroom. Now I have a Samsung Blackberry knock-off.
Dad’s house, guest bathroom.
Hey old man with your/Silent Hill strategy guide/stop breathing on me
There’s no “I” in “TEAM” but there’s one in “EAT SHIT”.
I wonder how many people got stampeded to death today? The answer: NOT ENOUGH.
The question is what to do with the Tooth Fairy if you are ever successful in capturing it.
My bike went from a 21 speed to a 7 speed today. Oh well, I never used those lower 14 speeds anyway.
Screwing around at work.
My boss’s bathroom. That was a night.
Work again. Most of these take place here.
On a plane to LA.
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.
Dad, at Tim Berg’s Alaskan Fishing Adventure. I’m there in the window.
Store window in Anchorage, Alaska, near the starting point of the Iditarod.
In the Gulf of Alaska on the Tia Rose. Dad said “permission to come aboard, Captain?”
The sea was angry that day, my friends.
Cabin restroom. Soldotna, Alaska.
Mopping overflowed urinal for 800th time.
Restroom of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
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.
Closing time at B&N.
One of dad’s hospital rooms.
Arkansas State University. That’s my fathers Ducks Unlimited sponsor hat.
Cregeen’s Irish Pub, the summer after dad died. I barely recall taking this.
I went home and almost fucking died. Those were great times. Wearing dad’s hats and trying to drink myself to death.
A book signing at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
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.
Another signing, Harding U, Searcy, Arkansas.
Craighead County Fairgrounds, Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Restaurant in Buffalo, New York.
Some shaving at home.
Little Rock Zoo.
A gift from my brother and sister-in-law. It’s my daughter’s face on Che’s head.
Celebrating opening at Midnight on Black Friday.
Dropped a register loading up at Harding and sliced my finger on the register paper blade.
Some angry bald idiot.
Ex-wife’s orthodontist’s office. Jonesboro, AR.
Gained 20 lbs, grew a beard, started wearing sweaters.
Fucking around with the merchandise.
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
that she wishes was a laser
tear down the walls
I shot the Archduke
and she murdered Europe
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.
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
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
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
there are heroes, still
Brushing our teeth.
Memaw’s house, Judd Hill, Arkansas.
Lost 15 lbs. Started lifting, BRO. GONNA GET SWOLE BRO.
First Great Western train from London to Cardiff.
Had to include this one by Gina.
Outside the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, UK. This is a reflection off the surface of what we call the Torchwood Tower.
Hell, USA. Replacing a toilet seat. This is the new one, of course. The old one covered me in piss rust.