: (Knocking quietly) “Hello, lady? Are you ok?”
Me: (I was typing furiously on my laptop, inspiration had struck while I was buying bras and the bathroom was closer than the food court) “Uhhhh yes, yes, I’m just fine….”
Bathroom Attendant: “…..lady you been in there a long time, you sick? I hear you mumbling…..”
Me: (glancing up quickly to check the lock on the door) “No, no, I’m not sick ….just..just needed to use the bathroom…”
Bathroom Attendant: (concern in her voice) “Lady you pregnant? A bathroom is no place to have a baby lady….you want me to call someone for you?”
Me: (staring incredibly at the door) “ NO, I’m not having a baby in here!.....”
Bathroom Attendant: “Lady ? lady ? you doing the drug what’s that tapping? What you doing in there? I thinking you better come out right now. You been in that stall forty five minute. Nobody use bathroom forty five minute unless they sick or doing the drug.”
Me: (I stop typing) “I’m not sick and I’m not doing drugs…. Could you just give me a minute?”
Bathroom Attendant: “Ok ..I gonna give you one minute to come out of the stall. You no come, security is gonna come and help you…you understand?...lady you hear me ?”
Me: “ I hear you and if you will just leave me alone I will come out, just go away, go back to the door or your post or wherever . I’ll come out in just a second.”
Bathroom Attendant: “Okay lady ..ONE MINUTE.”
All I needed to do was kill Larry off. I had been wrangling around his demise for months and It had finally struck me how he would die and now I had him cornered on all sides by ravenous hyenas; his jeep too far away to make a run for it…..
Bathroom Attendant: “Okay lady no more. I hear you talking. I don’t know what you do but you no doing it no more.”
Me: “Good God! I told you to give me a minute! This is a PUBLIC bathroom! I could legally stay in here all day if I wanted too…..!”
Then I heard TWO voices outside the bathroom door.
“Ma’am, this is Mall Security. I need you to exit the stall immediately and calmly. If you cannot exit the stall or you need medical attention I need you to state that right now.”
Bathroom Attendant: “You in the trouble now lady…you better come on out!”
Me: (I closed up laptop and quietly zipped it back into its bag.) “Ok, ok, I’m coming out. I had no idea using the bathroom could be a crime.”
I stood up and straightened my skirt, tossed my bag over my shoulder and slid the lock back. As I opened the door and stepped from the stall I smiled sheepishly. I crossed to the sink and washed my hands while the attendant and the security officer cautiously watched.
As I headed towards the door the attendant said “I heard you say you gonna kill Larry TODAY. Lady I heard it, I know what you look like. I read the paper; I see a dead Larry, I gonna call the real police. We got cameras you know?”
I looked her straight in the eye and said very matter of fact “Actually, no, Larry is not going to die today thanks to you. He will however, die later tonight and that is thanks to you also. Have a nice day. “
If only I could control these outbreaks of Inspiration.
nm boliek prefers her name written in small letters believing it will summon the genius of e. e. cummings. She has a serious penchant for Dulce de Leche ice cream and dark comedies and likes to think of herself as a writer only on Mondays and Wednesdays, preferring to leave the rest of the week to a menial job that doesn't include writing but pays for her ice cream addiction. She is currently working on her first novel which is due to be published whenever she stops starting over. Her short stories and horrid poetry can be found at http://cadence48x16.wordpress.com/