Cartesian Dualism a la Commode

My office building has two floors, and on each floor, there’s a set of bathrooms, one on top of the other. I work on the first floor but occasionally find myself heading into the bathroom on the second floor. (I notice that many of my coworkers from upstairs come to the downstairs bathroom on a pretty regular basis to do their stinky business. This isn’t what I do. I’ll just find myself up there to help a coworker out with something, and, passing the bathroom, thinking, “oh, gotta pee.”) The bathrooms are pretty much identical — red floors, the same stall/sink/urinal count and configuration. The only difference, in fact, is that the sink in the upstairs bathroom has a crack in it.

Pretty much every time I go into the upstairs bathroom, I feel, once I’m in there, as if I’m in the bathroom downstairs. While I’m peeing, I all but forget that I’m actually upstairs. And then I get to the sink, see the crack, and think, “oh, weird, I feel like I’m downstairs, but I’m actually upstairs.” It always feels as if I’m in two places at once. My mental self is downstairs while my corporeal self is upstairs, as when cartoon ghosts appear as pale images of the full-color character hovering in the air, going, perhaps, to their own strangely unsettling upstairs bathrooms.

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