Sunday, November 18, 2007

Arithmetic, or a self-conversation

Stepping into the men's room in a Greenwich Village restaurant, Saturday night...

OK, let's see... is anyone else in here? No? Great! I can't stand using the pisser if there's anyone else in the head. They make these goddamn things so snug that it makes me feel like I'm fucking Larry Craig if I just want to get to the hand dryer. What are my options here? One urinal, and two stalls -- one regular, one handicapped.

I've watched too much "Curb Your Enthusiasm" to even try the bigger one out... there's no comedy left in that transaction. Too bad, because I really appreciate the extra room in the handicapped stall. Makes it easier for me to flush with the toe of my shoe, so I don't have to touch a goddamn thing in this haven of horror.

I swear, rubbing your open eye on a baggage cart handle at the airport in Kinshasa, Zaire, is safer than fucking with a toilet lever in Manhattan. I'd rather eat a moist butterscotch that's been picked up off the floor of Grand Central with a damp bar rag from a Times Square Sbarros than actually place finger on metal in the head, even at the Waldorf Astoria.

All I have to do now is slide into the stall here, without touching anything -- and I mean ANYTHING -- except some T.P. to wipe with. Yes, there is a need to wipe on a No. 1 call. What the fuck are you going to do about the drip? You can squeeze every last bit out, but that fucker still has its last little dangling, ammoniac droplet wavering at the tip, with all that fucking surface tension... or cohesion... or whatever the fuck Mr. Remkus told us it was back in the 8th grade.

Nudges the door with the tip of the shoe, and it swings open.

Good news so far. There's not a fucking Katrina of human waste flooding the stall. I loathe the bastard who treats the head like his own personal SuperDome, wee-ing all over the seat and floor. Or worse, someone leaves that ugly fecal-gravy behind in their tracks, like some kind of fucked-up episode of "CSI: Bunghole" -- but the less said about that contingency, the better. I don't want to have to think about breaking the Presidential Seal on those protocols this evening.

I'm almost in place for the...

Suddenly, the back of the left calf brushes against the tile wall near the stall door as clearance is made for the door swinging closed.

What? FUCK! Motherfuck! Now what the fuck to I do? Abort mission? Bail? Can't now, I've had, like, three glasses of that Italian champagne... what do they call it? Progresso? Fucking "Prosecco" -- that's it! Italian bastards fucked me up with their diuretic beverage. Goddamn Don Ho with those tiny cocksucking bubbles.

Who built this stall? Those fucking lanky aliens from the end of "Close Encounters"? You literally have to be two-dimensional to fit into here in the first place, much less without touching any surface. Does fucking Frank Lloyd Wrong really think I want roll around on the cold tile, making contact with four walls, every time I go to use the pisser? Luke had more room in the trash compactor on the Death Star, for chrissakes.

I'm committed to the bit, I have to do this, but what about the pants? I just put these jeans on yesterday. They have one-and-a-half wears in them this washing cycle, and I'm loathe to drop them back in the hamper before their time. But what choice do I have? I'm forced to make all this fucking arithmetic up on the fly in my head within this Fuller-esque geodesic bacterial nightmare the restaurateur calls a quote-unquote "men's room," goddamn it!

Starts the business.

OK, calm down. There's only one option, and it's clear as day -- let's finish this thing off and walk out of here, cool like cucumber cats, acting like nothing happened, letting on to exactly ZERO weakness or disadvantage over this situation. Although I'd like to see Sun-fucking-Tzu try to turn this anthrax scare into good news. The edict from up on high is to isolate the contaminated pantleg from the rest of the operation and ostracize it vis-a-vis all contact from here on out. No leg crossing, no calf scratching, none of that bullshit.

Exits stall, washes hands.

Strict attention must be paid to the location of the area. Can't let the jacket dip down while I'm slipping the one sleeve on, allowing the other sleeve to brush the left leg. I watch those stupid bastards on the train who put on/take off their winter coats by allowing them to drag on the floor of the car. The fuck is wrong with those people? Why not just dip a ladle in a Dark Ages water well that they've been drowning plague-infected rats in?

This is going to require as much discipline as I can muster for the next few hours, but I have to get this right -- everything is counting on it.

Checks shirt tuck, leaves the bathroom, and never patronizes a public restroom ever again.