Strange Murmurings (From The Back)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom
(Barbs and Pitchforks)*
He was standing at the basin when I walked in and entered a stall at the far end of the bathroom.
Although there was now a door entre nous, I could hear all his behavior as it unfurled and exorcised whatever demons were driving their barbs and pitchforks into his heart and soul.
First he washed his hands meticulously four times at 30-second intervals. He then proceeded to vigorously dry the basin with a paper towel for about 60 seconds. This was followed by a dozen or so nose sniffs. Finally, there were long sighs interspersed with what sounded like quick rubbings of his shirt, as if he was trying to cleanse himself of his sins or something “dirty.”
As I listened, I tried to imagine what trouble or failure, disappointment or psychosis was putting him through this tribulation. Was it heartbreak? Hypochondria? A death in the family? An embarrassing blunder?
Albeit, it was clear that something was amiss, I just couldn’t pin down what it actually might be.
Eventually, I heard him leave, dragging his feet across the tiles and out the door.
As I washed my hands I looked at myself in the mirror and pondered the weight of my own worries, woes, and peccadilloes. I smiled, realizing how worry-free I relatively was. I then turned off the faucet and quickly dried my hands, throwing away the wet ball of paper into the wastebasket, much as I had happily, quickly, dispensed with my troubles.
*Based on actual occurrence yesterday at work.
(R&O thank you for the inspiration)