Wednesday, September 29, 2004

My Trip to the Men's Room

Okay, so I'm in the men's room a little while ago and all of the urinals are occupied. I go into one of the stalls and as soon as I close the door, the guy in the stall next to me lets one rip. It was so bad that I wanted to pass out. I felt like I had to get low to the ground so that I could breathe, but who is going to do that in the bathroom? So I take a deep breath (through my mouth, of course) lift up the seat (with my foot, of course) and what do I see? Brown splatter all over the back rim of the bowl. Between the smell and the brown spots, I’m gagging by now.

With no other options, I go upstairs to another restroom. As I open the door, I run into a Partner from the law firm at which I used to work. Apparently he is here as opposing counsel for a deposition being conducted in one of our conference rooms. We chat for a second and he shakes my hand. To my horror, his hand is COMPLETELY DRY. I remember hearing the toilet flush, but I don’t recall hearing the faucet run. Clearly, he didn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom. Now, I’m feeling even sleazier than before, and I have to scrub my hands like a surgeon before I can even use the urinal. I wish I had a shower in my office. In fact, I feel like I need to call in a HazMat team to get me clean. Why are people so nasty?

I read a great article a few days ago called “Women in the Bathroom,” and this incident reminded me of that story. If you ever get a chance to read it, do so. It’s by an up and coming author who would probably prefer to remain anonymous right now – hence the reason I haven't included a copy here – but who I’m confident will be famous one day. It’s well written (far better written than my lame story), witty and insightful. It also has a creative and terrific closing line that will, at minimum, make you chuckle.

Million Dollar Days

Did you ever have a day where you are just desperate to talk to someone - not because anything has happened, but just because you have a deep and primal need to make a connection with another human being? Of course, its not like you can call one of the guys and say, "hey, I'm feeling a little sad and need to talk." You'd never hear the end of it. Twenty years from now, you'd be at a bar watching football and he'd walk up beside you and say "hey, you look kind of down, do you need to talk?" before collapsing in peals of laughter.

I call these my "million dollar days" because I feel like I'd pay a million dollars to any friend that will answer my call and make me feel a little less hopeless. Invariably, whenever these days come about everyone is either busy or unavailable when I call. I can't really say that I blame them. I mean, I'd avoid myself right now if I could.

So what's left to do?

I guess I could close my office door and sleep until the feeling passes, but sooner or later they are going to catch on to that little stunt so I try not to pull it too often. Besides, when I'm feeling lost and alone, do I really want to combat it by isolating myself? That's like saying "I'm really hungry, so I'd better throw out all of my food."

Which brings us back to the original question: what's left to do?

Well, I could go outside and wander the streets seeing just how many people can avoid eye contact with me. There has to be some sort of sixth sense that people have to help them avoid people in need - kind of like the one that keeps women from talking to single men, but attracts them like ants to a picnic once you are in a relationship.

Before my last relationship, I went through a decent dry spell during which I couldn't meet anyone. I'd given up hope and was even contemplating joining the priesthood....well, maybe not going that far, but you get the point. Once I met someone, all of a sudden there were available and interested women everywhere. Of course, I had no interest in any of them since I was, for the first time in my life, deliriously happy and completely in love. There wasn't even an inkling of temptation which, ironically, only fueled the fire of some of the women. I even had to end a friendship or two out of respect for my relationship. I never shared any of this with the person I was with. She was going through enough in trying to deal with my problems my ex-wife was causing for her and I didn't want to give her any additional cause for concern. Besides, she was so perfect in every way that I would have been crazy to do anything to risk my relationship even if I had been tempted.

Back to the point. To recap what we've discovered thus far. None of my friends are available. Walking the streets in search of a kindred spirit is out. Closing my office door is stupid and counterproductive. I guess I could do some work - after all, I am getting paid to be here - but I just don't feel like it. Besides, I have an afternoon full of meetings, and I haven't been too hungry lately, so I've worked through lunch most days.

Suddenly, inspiration strikes! I'll write in my blog! Good way to kill time and it makes me feel like someone is listening, even if this is very unlikely to be read by anyone. Crisis averted. The world is safe once again!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hi. I'm Joe. This is my blog. From time to time, I'll post my thoughts here for anyone who cares to read them. Some days I might post a few things, other days - or weeks - nothing. Feel free to read and comment if you wish. Thanks for dropping by...