Kent and I were having lunch together at Wendys. While he was ordering I went to the bathroom. Really had to go, bad. On the bathroom door, a handwritten sign was taped to the door that read “lights don’t work – out of order”. As I mentioned, I really had to go and I remembered the little maglite in my purse. I love it when I’m prepared with tools. It’s a holdover from the fire department days. Also reminds me of mom, as she could pull anything out of her purse that you could possibly need: sewing kit, plastic baggies, maps, or dirty Kleenex to wipe your snotty nose.
Having the right tool at my disposal, I felt confident to go about my business, so to speak. I entered the pitch black one room bathroom and twisted the head of my maglight. A soft white dusting of light emerged but did little to light my way. I stuck the maglight in my mouth to free my hands. I could barely see the toilet because my batteries were as old as my purse. The eerie ambiance of the room reminded me of a Blair Witch scene, perhaps the unsuspecting teenagers were chased into this very Wendy’s and the killer was hiding here! In the corner! My imagination is so unkind to me and it always tries to trick me and scare me with rewinding old scary movies I’ve seen. I’ve seen many.
I’m holding my light tightly in my mouth for fear of dropping it on the floor and having it brake, or worse, fall in the toilet where it will surely not be retrieved by me. I’m roving the weak light back and forth in order to catch what lurks there before It catches me and I lower my bare bottom down onto the seat but “what this?” a few extra inches to drop tells me the seat is up! This is unexplainable in a ladies room. At the very moment I drop to the cold hard horrifically damp seat, I cast my dim light to the far right where I find a urinal. “I’m in the men’s room!” I don’t care how old I am, how open-minded or enlightened I am, I cannot handle being in a boys’ room even if I really, really have to pee, I’m totally embarrassed to be in the Anti-Girls Club. There’s something revolting about the urinal and I frankly cannot understand how men can stand there and hang their stuff out together in a line, but get all weird when you start talking about another guy’s penis?
I’m mortified when I make this discovery and I quickly stand-up and wipe. I do not even wash my hands because I don’t want to touch “their” faucets. I decide I need to leave quickly but what if there’s a man standing outside? Without thinking I flick the light switch before I open the door and to my astonishment, the lights work. So I do not understand why they’d put a sign on the mens’ room that said otherwise. That is, until I tried to flush the toilet and it started to overflow onto the floor. With the lights working well, I was so able to see it puddle onto the floor and start spreading toward me. Great – Now I have to exit a mens’ room that has a sign on the door stating the lights are out. And if that doesn’t make me look like a weirdo, how about the big giant puddle I’m leaving behind. Will they think I peed on the floor? I want to leave as quick as possible, as now I’m afraid that I’ve added “taking forever in there” to my list of weird things to chalk up about me.
I burst out of there, fuck it. With the pen light in my mouth, wet foot prints, and my heart racing because more than anything, more than the humiliation, or worry from an overflowing a toilet, I was afraid of some scary haunted creepy thing that might have been just about to slice my throat and pull me down the toilet into the Hellraiser dungeon. But it was worse. There was my husband with a smirk on his face, waiting for the story that was sure to come.