If you're feeling sinister.

I drink a lot of water at work.
There’s a 1.5-liter bottle, an Fiji bottle I hung on to because I loved the shape, that sits on my desk, and I fill it up and drink it at least once a day. I know for a fact that some people here easily drink that much soda in a day. Yuck. At least I’m capable of making one good choice in my consumption habits.
Drinking a lot of water, of course, leads to taking a lot of bathroom breaks.
Well, if you’re me, anyway. (OvershareCentral.com?)

There are two bathrooms on the floor my office lives on: one through the double glass doors and down a carpeted…bridge-type thing facing the main entrance and parking lot, and one out the back door, past the mail room. I am not a creature of habit like so many of these cul-de-sac dwelling pod people, so I’m sure to visit both bathrooms at least once a day.
Though. I do always choose the same stall. And I’m enraged when someone is alone in the bathroom and has chosen the middle stall. (There must be a teaching moment in some Seinfeld episode about leaving a buffer, right?)

The bathroom nearest the parking lot always reeks of aerosol hairspray; there’s a woman who works for the law firm on the opposite side of the building who wanders in there several times a day to touch up her shellac helmet.
In the back-hall bathroom, one of the automatic soap dispensers has been broken for months, and the management company shows no sign of compliance with our wishes to have it fixed. To ease our frustrations, apparently, someone brought in a bar of plain white soap that sits in a makeshift soap dish; it looks like it was actually made from the top of an economy-size can of Planters peanuts. Scandal ensued, of course — how unsanitary.
Each has its own charm, as much as a bathroom can.

But both are equipped with identical motion sensors that operate the lights, so they turn off when no one’s been in for a while.
I always feel a tiny shiver of glee when I walk in and the lights flick on before me. The air is still and cool, perfumed with sweet, industrial air freshener.
And without fail, every time I walk into that still bathroom and gingerly tap the door on my stall, I imagine I’ll encounter resistance from a still-turned lock. Looking under the stall door, I’ll see a pair of feet. Inside, the person is slumped over, unconscious or, worse, dead.
I never consider what I’d do, how I’d react.
Just that it could happen.
Because that’s absolutely the sort of thing that would happen here.

Happy Friday?


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6 Responses to “If you're feeling sinister.”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    carry your cellphone, that way you can call 911 and get out.

  2. rebar Says:

    You can't see it, but I'm nodding my head and fighting back one single tear of joy. Finally! Someone who gets it! Of course, my irrational fear is slightly different.I fear that I'll gracelessly slip on a pool water (that has snaked it's way from the leaky sink faucet into the stall), then slam head first against the ceramic bowl…only to be the one who is discovered, unconscious. I can image the both looks of sympathy and disgust my coworkers would throw at me, even now….

  3. Mr. Apron Says:

    P.W.–You know, I almost clicked the little red "x" on the top righthand corner of my screen when you mentioned Seinfeld.Almost.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I love this. I don't get the connection to the title, because I'm not very smart, but . . . .In the movie Witness, this little Amish kid passing through a big city (NY? can't remember) goes into a bus station bathroom and finds a body. Drama involving my doppelganger Harry Ford ensues. Ever since I saw that–possibly BEFORE–I've imagined that it would happen to me. So you're not alone.JLM

  5. mhaithaca Says:

    Maybe they didn't choose the middle stall. Maybe that's the only one that was free when they walked in. Or maybe they're doing it just cause they know it bothers you. 🙂 (If they didn't before, they do now…)I have a pint glass at my desk that I keep refilling. It's from a brewpub. I should put beer in it someday and see if anyone notices.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I get the same thrill when I walk into the bathroom and see the automatic lights come on as well!Love the writing!

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