Yesterday, I walked into a restroom where I make frequent pit stops between classes. There are two stalls, both decorated with torn out magazine pages featuring very outdated celebrity gossip. I usually hit the one on the right because George Clooney appears on the back of the stall door and really, really, truly, I’m never not interested in looking at George Clooney. Even in the bathroom. Is nothing sacred? What can I say? The man is a looker.
I peeked under the door and saw no feet, but when I pressed on the door, it seemed to be locked. Was it stuck? I pushed a little harder. That’s weird. I started to go for the other stall but I’m just not that into Matthew McConaughey! So I nudged the door again. This time, a tiny little voice said something that sounded like “sorry.” I bent down to look under the door again. No feet. I bent down again. Really, really, truly no feet.
“Oh, sorry, I couldn’t tell if someone was in there.” No response.
I went into the other stall and as I tried to avoid looking at Matthew’s picture, I studied the strange shadow being cast on the floor within the next stall. A person-crouched-on-a-toilet-seat-shaped shadow. I didn’t know whether that reminded me of middle school, when I would hide in a carefully plotted and timed series of restrooms to escape science lab, or if it reminded me of a story my aunt tells about a Japanese friend of hers who didn’t know how to use an American toilet the first time she traveled to the States, so she climbed on top of it.
Not another sound emanated from that stall while I washed and dried my hands and fussed with my hair. I thought about asking if she was okay. Maybe I should have. Or maybe it was better that I didn’t interrupt her ritual worship of George Clooney.