the cubicle

yesterday i went to the cinema and decided that i needed to go to the loo before i miss out on any part of the movie mid-way.

as i entered, the first cubicle was messy. i saw puke all over the floor. either the person did not bother to wash it off after, or the cleaner lady’d already left for home by then. it then occurred to me- that’s how people feel like, as they enter (or even witness) a puke-filled cubicle.

“eh but zue, why ah? why you need to even bother bout how it feels like ah? so deep one u”

last year on the 7th of september, i was invited to tag along with ag to a local movie premiere at The Gardens GSC. it was just a day before my birthday, but i woke up in the morning feeling slightly nauseous. i had no idea why, but back then i shouldn’t have had any problems with my body (aside from maybe some exhaustion from all the wedding prep going on). initially i wasn’t keen on going, but because i thought i could do it, i winged it.

so there i was, dressed in blue and pink, standing beside my fiance-boyfran who was neatly dressed in white at the GSC entrance, holding myself together as nauseous as i felt while some familiar faces were conversing with him. at the beginning i was alright as we reached The Gardens, but after a number of sushi-plates with Kak Fynn, i figured- something’s “brewing” at the back of my throat.

i managed to watch the movie halfway until i felt queasy. we were seated quite close to the screen though, so i thought “maybe it’s because we’re too close to the screen, and hey zue congratulations you’ve discovered another source of queasyness: motion too close to your face, aside from the smell of fresh leather” – when suddenly i felt a something piercing somewhere around my diaphragm. immediately after, i knew it was coming: puke!


i quickly whispered, “sayang pi bilik ayaq sat. pening” to ag and rushed out. with all the strength that my throat muscles had, i held it all back and closed my mouth. i ran into the first cubicle i’d seen in the washroom, quickly locked myself in, hung my handbag onto the hanger, turned around and *POOF*, everything went out.

funnily though, i still had the mind to hold my scarf back as i bent down puking alone. i coughed everything out, and if i were to enter the washroom as another person i would’ve been worried as hell for the person who sounds like she’s disastrously combatting her own body reflex inside that one particular occupied cubicle.

as i finished, i heard footsteps walking in. quietly, i took the spray and washed everything off. luckily, i kept some tissues and wet tissues inside my bag, wiped myself, wiped everything clean and washed off some of the puke that had got onto my top.

at this point of time, i felt useless.

i felt like a joke.

i felt. like. i would never be able to face anyone with such a horrible stench coming out of my mouth even after i’ve gargled tonnes of times, and i definitely didn’t want anyone to smell the puke-stain off my clothes.

i felt so horrible about myself that i even thought of getting an uber back home without letting ag lay an eye on hideous, dreadful-looking, puke-smelling Me.

i went out of the cubicle and headed towards the sink. thinking straight, i popped in some breathmints, pressed for some hand-soap and washed the stains off with it. i also pushed some soap onto my hand, washed it off inside the toilet cubicle and flushed. thankfully, i then smelled of lavender with a hint of mint.

i turned back to look at the aftermath of my very-short bodily war. the floor was all wet indeed, but the seat was dry, stenchless, and spotless. i gave myself a little pat before i dried my top using the rasor-air-blade eco hand dryer for about two to three minutes, and left the washroom.

walking back to the hall was another disaster though. my nausea came back and as soon as i sat back on my chair, i closed my eyes and whispered to ag, “sayang muntah. banyak. sayang tak sihat. lepasni balik please”. ag looked worried and restless, but we waited until the movie ended before we walked back to the car–

only for me to find a pot of orchid plant on my seat, with an oh-so-romantic birthday poem written onto a standee-card. Kak Fynn & Abang Tri’s car was parked right beside ours, and the poem looked like it was written by a woman. turned out that ag got the flowers for me as a birthday gift, and everything was supposed to be a pleasant surprised that’d leave me glowing.. only that i wasn’t glowing, i was holding back some of the leftover puke inside of me as i teared up choking on my saliva.

regardless, i felt like a queen. a nauseous one.

ag sneaked up with his phone recording my exact reactions, as i cried of both joy and confusion. why confused? confused lah! i just went through a whole atrocious episode of vomit, only to receive a beautiful pot of orchids later (?) it’s almost like God had wanted me to truly deserve the pot of orchids by making me battle through such a disaster, than simply just sitting through a sad movie.

i snapped out, realizing that i’d stood there for quite a long while, staring into the pukey cubicle until an kakak tapped my shoulder. “adik, adik okay tak ni? lama sangat akak nampak adik termenung je,” she said. i looked at her, as her daughter walked out of one cubicle.

“saya okay, sorry! teringat dulu saya pernah muntah kat movie, tiba tiba nampak ada toilet yang penuh dengan muntah jugak, tak tau la nak gelak ke nak teriang-iang ni sambil menangis ke,” i explained. she laughed.

“teruk sangat macam yang ni ke?”, she asked. i shook my head and smiled, “thanks akak. kalau akak tak tepuk bahu saya tu tadi tah tah saya dah terjalan jalan masuk toilet tu sambung muntah balik kot tah la,” i said and we laughed it off.

at that point, i was proud enough to even be able to hold a good conversation with her after blurting out about my similar puke experience.

there are a few points to this post, honestly. it’s not just a simple ‘sharing my embarrassing moment’ post, but just a note to you guys who may experience this in the near future: we’ve got to always keep our washrooms clean. especially for the public to use.

i had the mind to clean everything up before leaving, no matter how nauseous i still felt after puking. simply because i could imagine myself rushing into the washroom while my kidneys try their best not to burst, only to find myself having no option but to clean and use a toilet that was just as filthy, as other cubicles are being occupied.

also, no matter how panicked you are and how useless and horribly ugly or smelly you may feel after a whole pukey episode, try your best to overcome it. tell your friend or partner what you went through in the toilet, and immediately head home to rest. if your movie’s only 1/4 way through, screw it. go home and rest. you’ve got only one body to take care of, and you can earn the money you that burned by working using that later-on-healthy-again body of yours.

remember. your body first, the public toilet second, and your movie, last. keep the cubicle clean before you leave. just as how you want to enter it.

some of us Malaysians have problems trying to keep a clean public cubicle, and yet we complain when we enter a cubicle that isn’t clean.


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