One kind of bathroom we invariably hate are those located downstairs, far from the public restaurant areas. The dining room can be sunny and clean-smelling, but the moment you start to descend the stairs, a musky smell rises up around you. By the time you reach the lower level, which is often ill-lit, you note teetering stacks of boxes and discarded equipment on all sides. The smell of vegetal decay in the unventilated space is overpowering. It’s like being in a Poe story, and the ragged shadows seem to jump out at you.
You reach for the doorknob and find it wet. Pulling back, you wonder: Can I hold it till I get home?