Late 1968; I'm aboard an AMTRAK train, returning from New York to D.C.
I'm dangerously, nearly paralytically high on some LSD that turned out to be much more potent than I'd expected, and I enter the car's men's room to try and compose myself and regroup.

After using the toilet, I wash my hands at the basin, and wipe my face with damp paper towels. I take deep breaths, check my zipper, tuck in my shirt, adjust my glasses and have a look at myself in the little mirror, combing my hair and trying to put on a confident, fake, "I'm NOT completely fucked up" face. I look down and realize the sink is still full of dirty water and soap scum. I also realize-- to my horror-- that there is no visible drain hole, stopper or drain plug visible, merely a smooth, metal basin. No visible means of draining it. Curiouser and curiouser.

I must be hallucinating, I reason, and examine it much more closely. I cannot, in good conscience, leave this mess behind for someone else. It'd be akin to not flushing the toilet! I'm no savage... Further, careful, exacting, wide-eyed inspection does not reveal any possible way to get the dirty water out of the sink, and I start to panic. I'm really freaking out over this weird situation.

I'm soon reduced to dunking handfuls of paper towels in the water and wringing them out over the toilet. It's slow going, but I'm making some slight progress. I've used all the available paper towels and am now dunking wads of toilet paper into the sink...

A knock on the door startles me, and I crack it open to discover an AMTRAK conductor inquiring after my welfare. "Another passenger says you've been in there for 45 minutes or so, Sir. Just wanted to be sure you're all right", he says. "Is there a problem? Are you unwell? Do you need help?"

I fix him with my sternest gaze (sporting dinner plate sized pupils, gritted teeth, twitching jaw and a sheen of nervous sweat) and babble at him that I'm dealing with this mysterious, weird, defective sink that does not seem to drain, gesturing frantically at the offending fixture with a handful of soggy toilet paper.

The conductor looks at me like I have 3 heads (and I suppose I might as well have had...). He leans forward slightly, grasps a protruding metal lip at the front of the basin (which I had failed to notice at all in my fevered examination of the damned thing) and slowly lifts it up. This causes the HINGED basin to tilt backwards, whereupon all the water is sluiced out via a slotted opening at the top rear of the basin (which I had not spied, either, dammit...) as it is raised.

He lowers the empty basin, runs more water into it, and again raises the basin on its hinge to empty it, all the while giving me the Stink Eye. "Like this, see?" he hissed at me.
"Ah! Well! That's better! Very good!" was all I could manage to croak, as I slunk past him to return to my seat, and quietly vibrated in place for the next 2 hours...


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