The ceiling light was already on when I walked in. I noted the oddness – our office is the only occupancy on the floor and I’d not been in the room earlier, but I shrugged it off.
Three solid walls create the ends and back but the façade and door are jointed panels. The door normally opens in, but when I pushed it wouldn’t budge. I pushed again, harder this time and then I understood why. The one inch space between panel and door revealed a set of pink knees.
I heard a voice as I entered the adjacent stall, distinctly recognizable. “Sorry. Yeah, it’s me in here.” They said.
Well what else is there to do but carry on? I was already in the other stall, couldn’t back out. Full steam ahead, that’s what I decided and so out of shock and habit I replied, “Yeah, hey. How’s it going?” No sooner did the words leave me than I cringed, made a sour face and mentally kicked myself for such a ridiculous response. I don’t want to know how it’s going.
The other stall, in a tone of contrition and embarrassment continued, “I come in here when I need to do something that might take time, not enough privacy in the men’s room.”
I tell him it’s, “Not a problem, my being the only girl in the office – your odds must normally be pretty good.” I wondered, why was I talking? Just shut up, get it done, keep the laughter in, finish and leave. “I’ll be out in a sec and you’ll have it to yourself.”
Him: “Is this what usually happens in here?”
Wow! If it wasn’t awkward before, it certainly was at that moment, “Um, is what usually what happens?”
Him: “Talking between stalls. This doesn’t happen in the men’s room. It’s kinda weird.”
The mirror reflected my amusement and surprise. He was right, it was kinda weird but that was only one layer. I turned the water off at the sink, ditched the paper towel in the trash, called out a goodbye and exited. Heading for the elevator I chortled and wonder to myself how many times I must have just missed those pink knees.