by Emily Dressler

My favorite part about being in any of the buildings at Canal Place on South Main Street is feeling like I’m not supposed to be there. It makes walking around looking for a blood drive that much more exciting. 

I scheduled this blood donation appointment a month ago because Red Cross kept sending me emails begging for my B negative blood. They make you feel so important.

So, during the first part of my journey, I wandered around Building 10 looking for signs of life. I was starting to think the blood drive was not here. It was the day after that snowstorm in November and I had on all my winter gear. I was starting to get hot.

During the course of my wanderings, I found a restroom and went inside to gather my composure. If I had seen another human in this restroom, I probably would have screamed. I’m like a centipede that is perfectly harmless and is, in fact, afraid of humans. 

This bathroom is whoa. It’s a mix of completely bland with some oddities thrown in. First, the toilet seat cover dispenser is outside the stalls. I’m not a toilet seat cover kind of person, so I’m not sure how you guys feel about this, but it seems weird to me to have a single dispenser outside the stalls. Second, this bathroom has a throwback napkin (pads), shield, and tampon machine. I think shields are (ahem) panty liners, but I’m not certain. When was this machine even installed? Back when Canal Place was teeming with BF Goodrich folk?

The third oddity here is the lounge/couch area. An unexpected bathroom couch always makes me giddy, though I rarely sit down. The couch room also has a thermostat. Someone must like it hot because it was burning up in here. 

As I was marveling at the couch area, I was struck with the horrible thought that maybe this is meant as a lactation room for those who need to pump breast milk. Please don’t let that be the case, because there are some 1,000 empty rooms in this complex that could be used instead. 

The rest of the bathroom is pretty normal. Be warned, one of the sinks has a water flow that feels like acupuncture. The others are more calming.  

I would like if this bathroom somehow had a visitor tally that said something like “You are the XX patron to visit this bathroom today,” just because I would like to know how many people are taking a book break or whatever on that couch. Because I like when simple things surprise me, I’m giving this bathroom a 4.5/5. It was pretty good. 

In the latter part of my journey, while taking the elevator to and fro, I saw a sign that said my blood would be taken in Building 24. When I finally got there, my iron level was 12.4 and Red Cross requires an iron level of 12.5 for women to donate blood. Don’t worry, I’ve been pounding spinach like mad. 

Emily Dressler has been writing about Akron bathrooms and miscellany since 2015.

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