Have you noticed that so many people seem like there is nobody inside? This is a story about a nobody. Oslo Kretig was a nobody. Oslo was a sad and lonely nobody who lived all alone in a small apartment in a big city. The building was full of other sad nobodies just like Oslo, and they rarely ever spoke to one another even when squished up together in elevators, or on subways. People are very afraid of other people. The strange thing is, people are not afraid what the other people will do to them, they are afraid that the other people will not like them. People don't like themselves very much and therefore they don't think other people will like them either. So many people are all alone because of this. Oslo's building was full of them. So many lonely nobodies like Oslo. Oslo felt very lonely, but he didn't know what to do. He didn't have self confidence. Oslo was not very smart. In fact he had no life plan whatsoever. He just set his alarm to wake up every morning, and went back and forth from home to work. Life was rather uneventful for Oslo.
One late night Oslo was sitting on the toilet in his small bathroom looking out the window. Far off in the sky he could see the faintest of stars peeking through the din of the city lights, smog, and clouds. Far off the star spoke to Oslo. Somehow it gave him hope. Just by seeing the star Oslo felt better inside. Stars have always held so much power. They seem so magical from where we stand. As Oslo finished up on the toilet, he stood to flush, when from below he is startled to hear a voice gurgling the words, "Wait! Don't flush!" Oslo nearly fell back with surprise. Looking around the room Oslo responds, "What? Who's there? Hello? Hello?" with obvious fear in his voice. Then as he gains his bearings he sees where the voice is coming from. From deep down inside the toilet a huge dark mass rises and greets him. "Don't flush" the creature says again, a terrible stench emits with each syllable, "I've gotta talk to you." Oslo sees before his very eyes a massive turd speaking to him from inside his toilet. Strange milky yellow eyes rolling around with a large gaping mouth. When the mouth moved it revealed a few snaggled teeth of embedded bits of corn. "I can help you with all your problems." Says the turd.
Oslo is dumbfounded, as anyone might be. Things like this didn't happen to Oslo. After all he was a nobody. Nothing ever happened to Oslo. But this was special. This was strange. "What problems?" Oslo responded in a way that sounded like he couldn't believe he was even responding. "What problems?" "Whatta ya mean what problems? Your whole life is a problem." Complains the turd. Oslo walks over to the sink mirror. Looks at his own face. Runs some cold water, and splashes water on his face to collect himself. He looks back into the mirror. "I've gone completely insane." "Hey, you might be insane, but it's not me that caused it, it's your boring life!" Spurts the turd.
"What are you?" Oslo demands. "I'm here to help, compliments of the star you wished on." "I didn't wish on any star." "Well you must have." "I was just peering off wondering why I am here on good old planet earth when I noticed a star." "That must have been it." "I just wanted to feel like I was living, I just wanted to feel loved, needed, wanted." "Yep, that's good enough. You see you must have been the only person that noticed that little star. When you are the only person on earth wishing on a star, and you have real yearning in your heart, you get your wish." "But I wasn't wishing for anything in particular." "That's why I'm here, you weren't specific enough, but a deal is a deal, so they sent me to help you out." "How are you going to help me out?" "I've got all the answers."
Oslo and the turd stayed up getting acquainted. The turd asked Oslo many questions about his day to day life. Asked him about what he enjoyed, wanted, hoped for. The turd asked Oslo what things was he doing to get the things he enjoyed, wanted and hoped for. The turd began to come up with a game plan for Oslo. He wanted to be sure to allow Oslo to get plenty of sleep before work, so he wanted to start him off easy. He asked Oslo if there was any person that he sees on a day to day basis that interests him, and yet has never spoken to. "There are many, I never speak to anyone." Oslo gave as a wishy washy answer. "No, just name one, think of one person you'd like to talk to that you've never spoken with." "All right, every morning there is a woman about my age on the elevator. She must live a few floors above me. I always look forward to seeing her. I always like it when I have by chance gotten on the elevator she is on. We seem to both be leaving the building at 7:30am every morning." "Well then, I want you to say good morning to her." "You mean just say good morning to her, like that, after all these years?" "Yeah. Just get on the elevator, step in and when you have eye contact, say good morning to her." "I don't know." "Hey if you don't ever speak to her, then you will have never spoken to her. You've got to take the first step in living your life." "But what if I freak her out. I don't want her to think I'm coming on to her. I don't want to embarrass her." "It's just a good morning. Don't pressure her for a response, just say it, and mean it. Think of it as practice. I'm gonna have you doing a lot of this kind of thing. It's called living." "I don't know." "Just do it Oslo, you've got to promise me, this is your good luck turd talking here, you've got to trust me on this one." "You think so?" "Yeah, promise me, if she's on that elevator, just look her in the eye and say good morning to the poor gal."
Oslo got ready the very next morning, and was a bit nervous waiting for the elevator. When the doors opened, there she was. He would have to face his fear and speak to her. He stepped into the elevator where several others stood. When all their eyes lifted to see who was entering the elevator, Oslo caught the woman's eye and with a brief stammer, said directly to her, "Good morning." It seemed to snap her out of a daze, she seemed a bit taken back, and then a smile slipped to her face, and she kindly returned, "Oh, good morning. How are you?" How are you? Oslo thought over in his mind. He hadn't rehearsed a response it totally threw him off. How are you he said over and over in his mind. "OK." he responds as the elevator reaches the bottom floor. Everyone speeds off toward their destination. Oslo has a rush of accomplishment hit him. By the time he gets to work, he has a smile on his face. Totally throwing off the receptionist at the door, for the first time she looks up from her desk as Oslo enters the building where he works and says, "What you smiling so brightly about?" Shocked at another attractive woman speaking to him, Oslo once again panics having no rehearsed answer, "Oh, I don't know, it's a beautiful day." He says as he carries on down the hall to his cubicle.
He sits down in the small little area where he works. He is almost dizzy. In the past 12 hours Oslo had an all night conversation with a magic turd, and two attractive women that he sees nearly every day have spoken to him for the first time in years. As slight as the contact was, he feels great. The day goes great. He makes more sales than usual. His good mood helps him get through the day, and it's getting results with sales on the phone.
When Oslo gets home after work, he rushes right into the bathroom and lifts the lid of the toilet to look for the turd, and sure enough there it is burbling, and farting away splashing about. "Hey Oslo, how'd it go?" The turd immediately barked his way. "I can't believe it, I actually did it. Not only that, I was in such a happy mood, that the rest of the day went so smooth, I'm amazed." "That's just the beginning, you stick with me, and you'll finally be living a real life Oslo." "Now what do I have to do?" "You have to dare to do what you want to do. Don't close yourself off from possibilities. For instance, you've broken the ice with your friend on the elevator." "Yeah, now what?" "Well, what do you want? I assume you like her. I assume you're attracted to her, or you wouldn't have mentioned her." "Yeah, I find her very attractive. She seems just my type. I somehow relate to her. She's up every morning the same time I am. I even bet she just goes to work, and comes back home day after day, just like I do." "So talk to her some more. Do you ever see her any where else?" "Yes, I've seen her every now and then down stairs on Sunday, in the laundry room." "Of course, the laundry room. Oslo, I want you to continue to smile, nod, and even say good morning to this gal on the elevator. Keep the ice broken, so to speak. I also want you to start doing laundry every Sunday until you see her again, and start up a conversation. You've got to ask this girl out." "You want me to hang out in the laundry room?" "Well, yes. Just do your laundry each Sunday. You've got to find a place to have a conversation with her. The elevator doesn't give you enough time. You've got to go on what you've got. If it's the laundry room where you see her, it's the laundry room for you."
So Oslo would in one way or another smile, nod, or say good morning to the woman every time he got on the same elevator as her. That Sunday he went down to do his laundry, and just like magic, she was already there. Oslo's heart began to go at a rapid rate. She was taking wet laundry out, putting it into the basket with the wheels, and transferring the wash to the dryers. He would have to act fast, as she was nearly finished. At first she didn't even notice him, so he got his laundry in, placed his empty laundry bag on the center table, and when she looked up, he said, "Hi." One could tell it took her a second to place him, out of context in the laundry room. "Hey." Is all that she said, in a hesitant voice. Oslo felt the hesitation in her voice, and began to back down a bit, but knew he had to push on. "You know I see you almost every day, but I don't know your name, I'm Oslo, Oslo Kretig." She leaned over and offered him her hand, she tells him, "Oh, I'm Nancy Winnepeg - 10th floor." "Oh yeah, that's where you're from, no wonder you're always on the elevator before me, I'm Oslo, 8th floor." "Yeah, I know. That's where you get on every morning." "Yeah, that's true, I guess you'd know that. Where do you work?" "Oh I work in the mail room at the newspaper." And off the conversation went. Her brief hesitation turned into a warm conversation, and Oslo loosened up talking a mile a minute.
Oslo had a bag of chips in his knapsack, and the two of them talked on and on, sharing the chips. He was even so bold as to ask her if she would like to go out, get a bite to eat sometime, and she smiled and said she'd love to. Oslo could not believe his luck. The two of them made plans to go out that very weekend, and when Nancy had finished her laundry, she folded up all her stuff, and was off. Oslo sat while his clothing dried, and beamed with happiness. When the clothing was dry, he stuffed it all into his laundry bag, and rushed back upstairs.
Once again he reported his good luck to the turd. He folded his laundry as he told the turd the details of his success at obtaining a date with the elevator woman which he now knows as Nancy Winnepeg - 10th floor. How friendly she was, and she even shared his bag of chips. The turd could not have been happier. "I told you everything would work out. I told you that I'd have you living life once and for all." "I know, I can't believe it. I mean, all these years I've seen her, and never dared to say a word, out of some kind of fear." "Yeah, and I bet she felt the same way. You people are strange creatures, you've got more fears than any critter alive." "Yeah, but now look, I've got a date with her this Saturday night. So where do you think I should take her?" "Hmmm... that's a good question. What I suggest is to not go to a restaurant that is too close, but not too far. It's gotta be walking distance, but not so close that you don't have time to talk. Make sure that the walking and the talking gives you time with her. Walks and talks are very intimate, and you get one before and after your meal. Know of any restaurants about half a mile or so from here?" Oslo thought for a minute. "Yeah, there's tons of restaurants all over the city. There's a great Italian place, and another really good Chinese restaurant." "Well there you go, you've got options. Meet up with her in the lobby, and as you walk, give her a couple choices, and then walk to the place of choice. That way you two have a bit of time to get a conversation going on your walk to the restaurant. Go have a great time, and then when you get back to the building, be a gentleman, and wish her good night."
Again the turd's plan worked like a charm. Nancy was dressed so cute, instead of her business clothing, she was done up with a nice black dress and long coat. Oslo was shocked at how beautiful of a woman he was with. The two spent the evening telling one another about their lives, where they grew up, their family, how they each came to the city in the first place. Their meal was great, and the atmosphere and wine put the two in a very warm mood. The walk home was fun, and they laughed and laughed. When they got to the lobby Oslo gave her a hug and wished her a good night. Nancy gave him a big squeeze, and laughed, "Good night, you usually say good morning." "Yeah, well, I'm glad that I finally said something. I've always wanted to talk to you, just never found the way to get to." "I'm glad you did, Oslo." Nancy said, " Good night. Probably see you Monday morning in the elevator."
Oslo got to his apartment, and was in high heaven. When he got to the bathroom, he noticed there was a bad smell starting to accumulate there. He quickly got used to the smell while he told the turd of all his accomplishments. He told the turd how well the evening went. The turd was elated for Oslo, and told him, "Now it's all up to you, you like her, right?" "Of course I do, we get along great." "Then just keep it going. Say hi when you see her, ask her to join you, go out on weekends, ask her if she'd like to have lunch sometime. Invite her here to your apartment, you guys live in the same building, hang out and watch a movie some time."
A couple weeks passed, Oslo took her out to restaurants and movies. Oslo and Nancy grew quite close. They would walk holding hands, and Nancy now would give him friendly little kisses at the end of each date. The turd told Oslo that it was time to invite her to his room. To look at the TV listings, and find something of her interest, and invite her to come down and watch. The turd told him to go out, get some pop corn, some wine, a few candles.
When the night came for Nancy to come down, it was a Friday evening after work. She spent a couple hours getting showered and changing out of her work clothes. Oslo made his small living space comfortable and waited for Nancy to knock at his door. The turd gave him more pep talk, "I'm so proud of you Oslo, you have really come so far. You've made a new friend, you're numbers are up at work, you're making more commissions, you're happy, energetic, getting out more. You've come a long way baby!" Oslo and the turd laughed and laughed. Then came the knock on the door.
Oslo closed the lid on the toilet, and shut the bathroom door as he crossed the room to let Nancy in. As soon as she was in the room, it was obvious that the smell of the place bothered her. Oslo saw it on her face. He was immediately embarrassed, and tried to cover it up with some idle conversation. While they spoke, he nonchalantly opened a window to allow in some fresh air. The stench seemed to get worse the more Oslo thought about it. Nancy sat down in the chair, and not on the couch, obviously wanting a bit of distance put off by the odor of Oslo's apartment. It made her uncomfortable, and because she was uncomfortable, Oslo was uncomfortable. To further mask the smell, Oslo quickly began to make some popcorn, and he also lit a couple of those big candles he bought for the occasion. The smell of the popcorn, and the candles seemed to help mask the smells coming from Oslo's bathroom. He opened and poured two glasses of wine, and then Nancy joined him to watch the movie on the couch. Then it happened at the end of the movie. Nancy leaned slowly toward Olso, whispering into his ear, "I need to use your bathroom."
For some reason Oslo had not even thought of that. He didn't know what he was going to do if she needed to use his bathroom. He panicked, unprepared again. He was obviously nervous. "My bathroom?" "Yeah, your bathroom, I know where it is, it's just like my apartment." She got up from the sofa, a bit tipsy from the wine, but Oslo raced ahead of her blocking her from entering the bathroom. "But it's such a mess in there." Nancy began to wonder what was up. She also began to notice the bad smell the closer to the bathroom she got. His desperation began to frighten her. What if this guy had dead people in his bathroom? She barely knows this guy, and now she's alone with him in his apartment? What if he's some kind of mass murderer? Her mind began to spin with homicidal possibilities. "It's out of order, the toilet is backed up." Oslo said, "I've been using the bathroom in the lobby while it's being fixed." Nancy was appeased, she was still a bit skeptical, because Oslo seemed so strange about the whole thing. "You better use your own bathroom, it's closer than the lobby anyway." Nancy admits to being a bit tired, and gives Oslo a good night, and returns upstairs to retire for the rest of the evening.
Oslo doesn't know what to do. He paces back and forth his living room all alone. Half a bowl of popcorn, two burning candles, and an empty wine bottle sit on the table in front of him. The movie's credits rolling, and no girl. The whole bathroom thing was enough to send her back up stairs, and she used it as an excuse to go home. Did he freak her out? Will she ever go out with him again? Oslo rushes into his bathroom, where the turd is sloshing around in his toilet. The foul odor is thick from having the door shut for so long. "She left!" Oslo complains to the turd. "That's OK, never worry about taking it slow, women often like to take things slow. They want to get to know your character, and they don't want anyone desperate anyway. You just stay friendly, be sure of yourself, don't worry if she likes you or not, she likes you. You know she likes you. You invited her to come watch a movie, and she did just that." "I suppose you're right. She did stay for the whole movie." "See, a month ago you'd never have guessed that you'd be sitting here with her watching a movie, drinking wine, now would you?" "No. A month ago, I'd just be sitting here watching TV alone." "You see, you can't just expect her to so easily spend the night, you live in the same building, you see each other every morning in the elevator. She doesn't want to jump into things so fast. Take it easy, that will make her comfortable." "Yeah?" "Yeah."
Once again Oslo was appeased by the good advice the turd had to offer. He blew out the candles, turned off the TV, and headed for bed. The next day, the turd had more advice for Oslo, "You should give her a call and thank her for coming by last night." "I should?" "Yes, it's the polite thing to do. Tell her you had a great time, and that you'd love to spend more time together. This way you'll get a feel for how she feels. If she still seems receptive, ask her over again."
Oslo did just as he was told. Nancy had just gotten back from grocery shopping, and was in a great mood. She said that she had a good time, and that she would like to get together again. This pleased Oslo, and they made a date to hang out again next Friday night. This gave Oslo a whole week to prepare and think about his date with Nancy. What was he going to do if she needed to use his bathroom again?
The week passed fast, and after work on Friday night, Oslo hurried home. Once again when entering his apartment, there was a strong bathroom odor hovering in the air. He went to each window and opened it, but the smell seemed to stay. No matter what he came up with, he had no answer to his problem if Nancy wanted to use his bathroom again. The phone rang, and it was her. She wanted to know if he was ready for her to come down. Oslo panicked. He couldn't have her come into his apartment smelling the way it was. He stalled. He asked her to give him a few more minutes. She agreed that she'd be down in 30 minutes in time to catch the beginning of the movie they had planned to watch. Oslo hung up the phone, and went into the bathroom.
The turd's smell was thick. Every time it spoke, it got worse, "Oslo you know what you have to do, don't you?" "I'm frightened, I don't know if I can succeed without you." Oslo confided to the turd. "It's the only way. You've got to make it on your own. There is nothing else that I can do." Said the turd bravely. "But you've been so good to me. You've helped me come so far. You're my only friend." "That's not true. You've made a new friend. Nancy is your friend. You've got to do it for her. You've got to do it for you. It's the final step Oslo. You've got to live life on your own."
Oslo, faced with a terrible dilemma, and with time running out, reaches over to the knob on the toilet. "I can't do it." "You've got to, it's the only way!" Cries the turd. "I'll miss you, who will be here to greet me when I get home?" "Don't worry Oslo, everything will be just fine." "You understand don't you?" "Only too well my friend, only too well." "I'll miss you." "I'll miss you too, but you've got to do it."
With one move Oslo turned the knob, and with a big sloshing gush, the turd was gone. Suddenly Oslo felt so alone. A strange silence fell across the room. The open windows quickly moved the air throughout the apartment. Oslo just stood there peering down into the empty toilet. Twenty minutes passed, and his blank stare was broken by a knock on his door. Looking up he caught his own reflection in the bathroom mirror, and there was a single tear on his cheek. He quickly wiped the tear away, straitened out the collar on his shirt, and made his way to the front door.
Nancy entered the apartment, and was noticeably relieved to find that the place was well aired out, and there was no trace of the bad smell from last time. Oslo took her coat, and the two sat down on the couch together. The candles were still in the same place from the week before, and Oslo lit them as he opened up a new bottle of wine. The movie was a comedy, and they had a great time laughing. At one point they looked over at one another, and Nancy leaned over and gave Oslo a big kiss. The two fell into an embrace, laughing, and giggling all night. The next morning Oslo got to say good morning to Nancy, but it wasn't on the elevator, it was there with him, in his bed. "Good morning, Nancy." "Good morning Oslo."
For the first time Oslo and Nancy felt that there was hope. That they were somebody. That life was good.