poured out before bed
I dig regularity. Regular blog posts. Regular study sessions. Regular friend and Mr. Whine dates. Regular meals. And, yes, regular lavatory visits.
My desire for the latter has led me to portion out into a tiny travel tupperware enough soluble fiber for two refills of my 24 oz water bottle each and every morning, and to work diligently to meet my hydration (and, yes, defecation) needs throughout my work day.
It also means I visit the bathroom at certain intervals.
Last night I’d just finished a progress note and some discharge paperwork, slugged to the dregs my first bottle, and bopped into the staff restroom for a #1 sort of experience. No sooner had I seated myself (no, I don’t hover) than a brisk knock came at the door.
“Hey lady! There’s a phone in there’s mine.”
I stop midstream. Not because my bladder is shy, but because it is polite. Didn’t your mother teach you not to tinkle over others?
I scan the small unisex, and seeing no device answer, “Sorry sir, I don’t see anything, but I’ll be out directly.”
“It’s in there. Just realize it’s mine.” I hear him lean against the door, place his hand on the door knob.
Sighing, I resume my regularly scheduled program, flush, wash up, and rinse a plastic recyclable I’ve brought with in preparation for it’s introduction to the co-minglers club at bar recycle.
It’s been less than a minute following his last interruption, yet suddenly I hear –
“You bakin’ a cake in there? I don’t have all night.”
Oh for crams sake.
I sneak a peak in the mirror, put on my sweet and helpful face, then bust the bathroom door open. A blue-scrubbed “gentleman” who reeks of mildewed tobacco nearly falls into me.
“Oh, excuse me. Are you the one looking for a phone?”
“Yeah, ya got it?”
“No, sorry, I didn’t see one.”
He pushes by me and spins around searching, turns back and looks at me warily.
“I know it was in here…you sure you don’t have it?”
“No, I don’t have your phone – there was no phone in the bathroom. Why don’t you check up by the huck to see if someone turned it in?”
I start walking toward the center hall. My pee partner is just behind me.
“No, the huck is where I went right after the bathroom. You must’ve gone in that bathroom just after me…you must’ve seen my phone.”
He is invading my personal space (big time) at this point, and it is clear he is going to continue in this vein no matter what I say. I begin to hear that evil inward buzz that accompanies unwitting confrontation.
I stop in front of one of the silver-moon security cameras and plant my feet. “Sir, I did not see a phone,” I say steadily.
“OK, lady. This is getting dumb. Gimme my phone and we’ll forget the whole thing.”
“Sir, I truly do not have your phone.”
“Then you tell me where it went.”
“I have no idea. I have not seen your phone. I do not have your phone. I suggest you visit the front desk and see if they have any information. I will show you up there if you like.”
His round, pock-marked face is red, trembling now. His furry hands are electric as he gestures.
“I don’t need to be shown there – I was just there…I’m starting to get real tired of this.”
“Sir, I do not -”
“Hey Larry!” A cheerful voice rings out from close-by. Sara, a floor nurse, comes skipping around the corner, nearly running into us.
“Dude, you left your new phone in the bathroom. I couldn’t find you so I dropped it by the huck… everything OK here?”
There is an awkward pause. “Larry was just heading up there to check if someone had turned it in,” I say lightly, but I know my face remains hard.
Sir Larry turns a different shade of red, mutters a brief, “Oh, sorry,” then pounds his fat frame toward the ward front. I look at Sara, exasperated (and not a little peeved) and throw my hands in the air.
“Wait, did he think you – ” she trails off. “Oh my gosh, he’s such a hothead. Don’t worry about it, the only people he’s good with are kids.”
“A regular peach,” I mutter. I unclench my jaw, let out a big breath, and shake my head. Sara claps me on the shoulder as we head back toward the team room together. But I break off and about face before we reach it.
I have to pee again.