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A Secret Fear Comes True

(A post from the archives)

This post may border on TMI, so be forewarned. I have to be honest, I have a secret fear of using a handicap stall and having a person in a wheelchair come into the bathroom while I'm mid-poop. This is something I think about probably more than normal since I often have to use a public restroom at work. Said bathroom is pretty terrible. It has one urinal, a cavernous handicap stall, and a regular stall smashed in between. I don't like to use the middle stall because the bathroom has a lot of traffic, and it feels like sitting in the middle of a firing squad. Just going into that bathroom takes a herculean effort. I'm tempted to go across the street to another building, but I'm sure that would be a step back in OCD Land. Walking across the street to a "safe" bathroom and taking 20 minutes for every bathroom break just seems like fodder for group therapy. In general, I don't make it a habit of using the handicap stall. But if I do, I sweat like a fugitive while sitting on that throne just waiting for a man in a wheelchair to come rolling in. That happened today. I was in the stall finishing up, when I heard the door open. I heard the clanking and squeaking of a wheelchair and froze. It was one of my greatest fears coming true. Luckily, I was physically unable to shit my pants, but the equivalent was happening in my head. It was literally like having my entire 7th grade math class open the door to the stall. My life of embarrassing moments flashed before my eyes: fly down, TP shoe, you name it, I saw it all again in HD. I prayed that he wouldn't start banging on the stall door. If he did, I imagined a person-shaped hole in the cinder block wall next to me. The man that had just wheeled in was muttering something to himself. What I heard was, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING IN THE HANDICAP STALL? WALK YOUR ASS OUT HERE! MOTHERFUCKING PEOPLE TAKING UP MY STALL!" I hurriedly completed my business, no small feat, yanked my pants closed and opened the door. Outside was a young man in a wheel chair muttering to himself and fiddling with the sink. There was no way I could make eye contact with him. I washed my hands and got out of there without drying them. He was still muttering to himself when I left, and I have no idea if he intended to use the stall or not. What he was actually saying to himself is anyone's guess, but he did sound more than a little pissed off to me. I'm not sure I can ever go in that bathroom again; certainly not the handicap stall. Lesson learned. It wasn't as bad as Larry David, but that is the image that kept coming to mind.

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