I am participating in one of the most important duties an American like me can perform. I was invited to appear at the DC Superior Court as a potential petit juror. Much to my surprise (and a welcome one to be honest), I was selected to sit on a criminal case. Because I take oaths and such seriously, I will talk about the case once it is over. In the meantime, all I will say is that so far it is quite interesting, and it’s a nice change of pace from my usual tedious and boring days at NASA.
This post, however, is not about jury duty, but rather about a rather odd experience I had today. As I walked from the Metro station to the courthouse, I saw an older gentleman who was carrying a cup of coffee. This man approached another man, and gently, playfully punched him on the shoulder. The two chatted for a moment, and I assumed that they must have known each other. After I thought about it for a moment, I wasn’t really sure if they knew each other or were just participating in that instantaneous camaraderie and faux brotherly love that a certain demographic in our society engage in on the streets and in the Metro system.
Without much more thought, I continued on my way. All of the sudden, it occurred to me that this same dude was walking up behind me. But not only was he walking behind me, he was also walking at an angle towards me that would cause him to walk INTO me. As I looked up to make sure that he was aware that he was treading dangerously close to my personal space—and that he wasn’t intending to nick my wallet—he smiled at me and playfully and gently punched me in the arm. At this point, I was too stunned to say anything, and he had already accelerated and moved on ahead of me.
To say that I had an eerie feeling would be an understatement. I felt like what I expect everyone who George Lass touches might feel. A little sense of connection to the person who just touched me. A little ominous feeling that something dreadful was going to happen to me. A little frightened that a total stranger touched me, but yet, safe and secure as it was not a threatening touch in any way; but, rather, it was a gentle and soothing touch. I looked around to see if any Gravelings were in the vicinity, but I couldn’t find any.
Without going into too much detail, I had a little “bout” yesterday that caused me to run out of the courtroom rather quickly and return rather embarrassedly. I still wasn’t 100% last night, and after overmedicating myself with Imodium this morning to ensure there would be no repeat of yesterday, I set out for court. I kid you not that after that weird guy touched me, and I reassured myself he was no Reaper, an odd sense of calm overcame me, and I knew that not only would my stomach hold out on me, but that it was going to be a good day. While most of my posts here are a bit cynical or tongue-in-cheek, I have to be honest, that I’m not kidding around. I really did get that clouds parting and angels singing moment.
Sure enough, the Imodium worked (a little too well, if you know what I mean), it was a good day, and the Sailor called me that his new job is hiring and his boss was interested in talking to me about another opening they have.
Do I believe in guardian angels? I’m not sure. Do I believe that scary, odd homeless men can bring joy and happiness to a complete stranger? I’m sure.
We flew out of BWI Sunday (June 5) morning on Southwest Airlines and landed at Manchester Airport in New Hampshire around noon. We went to the Enterprise counter and picked up our rental, a Mazda 3. It’s not the most expensive car they make, but it was really nice, and I got to drive most of the time (OK, so the one time I navigated, I missed a step and we passed the turn. RC decided that we should more properly use our skills and I got to drive). Anyway, we picked up the car and drove about 5 hours north to Bar Harbor, ME (although it’s pronounced “Bah Ha-bah,” we never actually heard anyone say it that way). We stopped along the way so we could see the ocean. The tide must have been about to come in because it seemed like we could walk a mile out before we touched the water…not that we did since the water temp was in the high 50s. We ate lunch at McDonald’s. As we drove to Bar Harbor, ME, we got hit by torrential rains; it was not fun. Fortunately, we made it to the hotel without any problems.
We stayed at the Acadia Inn, which wasn’t too bad. The folks were somewhat friendly, the room was a pretty good size, and the bathroom was huge. We had a free continental breakfast both mornings, so that was very nice—I had blueberry muffins and Froot Loops both mornings. Unfortunately, things turned ugly the second morning: no hot water … but, I’m getting ahead of myself. We went out to dinner the first night at a lovely little place downtown called Galyn’s Restaurant. A little, hunch-backed man who definitely blipped my radar as being a member of the Tribe seated us in the back, away from the door and windows as it was rainy, damp, and cold. As RC has lived a very deprived life and never had lobster before (OK, so she is from a landlocked state, but still…), we ordered the Lobster Cocktail for an appetizer. It was quite yummy, but a little over-priced (but she enjoyed it, so it was worth it). I got the Tarragon Chicken, and RC got Garlic Shrimp Linguini. We skipped dessert.
The next morning (June 6), we were up bright and early. She went to read the paper and drink feculent coffee while I showered and watched TV. Then we were off to Acadia National Park. I am not normally an outdoorsy person, but it was very pretty. We went to Thunder Hole, but it wasn’t very thunderie (we were going to go back the next day, but we didn’t). We drove through the park, over mountains and ponds and to the ocean. We also did a little hiking. We walked all the way round Jordan Pond, and then we went to Jordan Pond House where RC had blueberry tea, I had chai, and we both had popovers. They were friggin’ awesome! Then we drove all round the island (well, our part of the island anyway). That night we dined at the West Street Café. They had specials like clam chowder or mussels for appetizer, whole lobster with 2 sides, and blueberry pie for dessert…mmm blueberry pie. I got the mussels and RC got the clam chowder. She also had a blueberry beer (it just tasted like beer to me).
Tuesday (June 7) began with the aforementioned anecdote of no hot water. The cold water wasn’t just cold, if was friggin’ frigid. I washed my hair and the important bits (arm pits and crotch). It wasn’t the cleanest day, but what can you do? RC did pretty much the same. We originally planned to go to Isle au Haut but instead decided just to eat at a small cafe on Main Street in Stonington. RC had grilled cheese and soup, and I had a burger. Both our meals cost less than the lobster cocktail two days before. Then we went to Rockland where we checked in at the LimeRock Inn (LimeRock is correct, BTW, it’s not Lime Rock). We stayed in the Petit Manan, which was a nice enough room, but rather odd. The toliet was in a little vestibule between the door to our room and a pocket door that didn’t actually work. The oddest part was that the shower was in the closet (I guess that is what the Brits mean by Water Closet). Other than that, it was fine. After checking in, RC took a shower and I sat out on the porch swing reading a Bed & Breakfast trade magazine. I found what I thought were good deals on buying a B&B, but RC overruled it. Next, we walked into downtown, and before I knew it, something came over me like a fast moving dark cloud on a sunny day. I think I was just dehydrated, but I really have no idea. We went to a Mediterranean restaurant called Amalfi, and once I had some food in me, I began to feel much better. We had mussels for appetizers, then RC got a spinach manicotti like dish, and I got the House Paella (chorizo, chicken, shrimp and mussels). We rounded dinner off with a very enjoyable crème brulée. We walked around town a little more and went back to the LimeRock Inn and sat on the porch swing before going to bed.
Wednessday (June 8) found us eating waffles for breakfast. It was sort of weird eating breakfast with the other guests, but RC assured me that that is all part of the B&B experience. I guess…
We drove back to Camden to go to the Camden Hills State Park. The view was truly spectacular! We saw the ocean on one side (Camden was far, far below us). You could also see the harbor and Penobscot Bay. On the opposite side was Cadillac Mountain. I wanted to have our picture taken with the Bay in the background. A random woman was kind enough to offer, but sadly, a photographer she was not. She managed to get a lovely picture of her thumb rather than of RC and me. Also, frighteningly, I somehow got a big ole tick on me. He was on my head and I picked him off. I tried to throw him out the window, but the bugger managed to get back in the car. On our way out of town, we stopped at some random hobby shop on the side of the road. I was hoping that they would have a cool ship model, but they were more geared to radio-controlled airplanes. Oh, well. We pointed Camden to our stern and headed down the sea of concrete to our next destination: Bath, ME. In Bath we went to the Maine Maritime Museum. It was pretty cool. We had a nice demonstration of how a ship is launched off the ways by some old geezer who seemed very excited to have someone to talk to—but, he was very monotone, and I had a hard time paying attention…and there was a big ole spider crawling around. We had a snack out of the candy machine, and I bought a CD of sea shanties at the Museum’s shop (it wasn’t very good).
After the Maine Maritime Museum, we headed out to lunch. We went downtown, and after giving up on a restaurant RC wanted to find, we settled on a BBQ joint that smelled a whole lot better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad, though, and we had a nice lunch.
We ended the day by driving into Portland, ME. We thought we were lost, but as we turned the corner, there was The Inn at St. John where we stayed. After checking in, we walked around downtown and had dinner at Soffritto Creative Italian. We started the dining experience outside, but as the sun went down, it got very cold. By the time our food came, RC and I were freezing, and we asked the waitress if we could move inside. After that, the rest of the dinner was fine.
Thursday (June 9) we woke up and headed downtown again. We found a great parking space in a parking garage that was about an hour’s walk from the water. But it was a great location for when we finally came back. On our walk downtown we stopped at a coffee shop and I got mad because it appeared that no one was working on my order. Fortunately, our next adventure was good and that made up for the lousy service at the coffee shop.
We went on a boat cruise around the harbor and got up close to many of the lighthouses that dot the harbor. After taking almost an entire roll of film on lighthouses and islands, we retired to a great little restaurant called Duck Fat. Everything that they deep fry, they deep fry in, obviously, duck fat. I had the Wolfe's Neck Farm Maine Meatloaf Panini. RC had the Ham & Cheese Panini. We also got some fries and for dessert, we had Beignet, which was, of course, fried in duck fat. It was so very yummy.
After lunch we walked over to the Portland Art Museum. It was a pretty neat museum; they had all kinds of exhibits: paintings, sculptures, statues, and a house museum. RC particularly liked the impressionist paintings. After the museum, we went back to the hotel to freshen up a bit before going to dinner. We rounded out the great eating day with dinner at Street and Company. After dinner we walked around town and browsed a bookstore around the corner from the restaurant.
On Friday (June 10), we went to the famous Becky’s Diner for obvious reasons. We bought the tee shirt. We took the ferry over to Peaks Island and walked around the island, but it was very hot and after a short time and an ice cone, we headed back to Portland and once again got on the road…this time heading to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We checked into the hotel, the Anchorage Inn, and then headed down to Hampton Beach. We walked along the boardwalk (well it wasn’t a true boardwalk in that it was cement and not wood, but you get the idea) and we ate great beachy junk food like saltwater taffy. I also had the privilege of ogling hot underage girls in skimpy bathing suits. We ate at some not very good restaurant on the beach. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either. After dinner we headed back to the hotel and went swimming is the very small swimming pool. After swimming a bit and freezing, we headed back to the room and watched the Food Network.
On Saturday (June 11), we woke up and headed into Portsmouth, where we discovered that there was a really cool street festival going on. Almost the entire downtown was blocked off and there were booths lining the streets. RC thought the festival was put on just for us! We walked all around and got free hats from the Portsmouth Regional Hospital, looked at cool paintings with maritime themes painted (supposedly) by local artists, and ate some Indian food from a street vendor (although the food stalls were run by restaurateurs). RC had a virgin piña colada, which made her very happy. Sadly, she also got sunburnt. After walking around the town and watching a really cool lift bridge in action, we decided it was time to move on to our next destination. We got back in the car, got back on the road, and drove to Manchester, NH. we got severely lost trying to find the hotel, and then all of a sudden, it was right there in front of us…it was most amazing. After we checked into the Comfort Inn, I wanted to head back up the road a piece to the porn shop we passed, but RC nixed it. Instead, we went out for pizza (it was sit-down pizza, not carry-out). We had a calamari appetizer first. It wasn’t too bad. Then we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.
Sunday (June 12) was the worst day of our trip by far. We woke up and headed back to Manchester Airport to return the Mazda 3 to Enterprise. RC was worried that we would be charged for the big dent in the license plate that we noticed back at the LimeRock Inn. I was, of course, right, and they didn’t even notice it. After returning the car, we headed into the terminal and waited for our flight back to BWI.
We are already planning the next trip; probably for New Year’s. When I say “we,” I really mean “me”—RC did all the planning for this trip, so I get to plan the next one. I can only wonder at this point where we will go next…
Sorry I didn’t write over the weekend, but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. I’m really still not, but it’s 9:30 in the morning, and I have finished all of my work for the day (well, I say that, but I think it’s probably more accurate to say that I don’t have anything on my desk at the moment, and I am just waiting for the next task to be delivered), so I need to do something to alleviate the boredom.
Anyway, about Friday:
I got up pretty early (around 7:30—my regular weekend wake-up time), and took a shower, shaved and generally stared in the mirror a whole lot looking at my soon-to-be-different nose. I kept touching my moles, willing my fingers and brain to remember the feel, contour, texture of my moles and face. I watched TV and ate a very light breakfast, all the while my fingers continued to migrate toward my nose and cheek. I cleaned and vacuumed the apartment and washed the dishes. I didn’t want to come home to a dirty home (although, I somehow forgot or ran out of time to do the bathroom—I can’t imagine how that happened). Around 11ish, my parents called and said that they were on their way (my mom insisted that she and my dad be there, which was fine by me). They arrived shortly before noon, and we sat and talked for a bit; my dad flipped channels on the TV. My mom was nice enough to fold my clothes. At last the time had come for us to head over to the doctor’s office. I ran to the bathroom to look one last time at the two moles that had invited themselves to my face 17 years ago and never left. As much as I was prepared to have them removed, I was still going to miss them.
It was a rainy, overcast, and generally dreary day…poetic, I thought. When we arrived at the doctor’s office, we were the only ones there. It was only a matter of minutes before his secretary, a woman who desperately needed to be on the receiving end of a weed-whacker (to remove the copious amounts of hair), asked me to sign the waivers that relinquish the doctor from major liability. I filled out my forms. My dad thumbed through People. My mom thought out loud about getting liposuction.
Soon after signing my life away, the nurse called me to go back to the examination room. I was pretty nervous. I can’t really explain why I was so nervous. I have had these sorts of procedures performed on me before. The very last time, for some absurd reason, I convinced myself that the Novocain would wear off and I would feel everything. I got a little queasy then, and I guess I was afraid that the same thing would happen this time. Needless to say, it didn’t happen either time. When the doctor arrived, I made a comment about being nervous, and he replied, “Why? Have you heard of my reputation as the butcher?” He continued to make these dumb, yet reassuring comments. So far, I give him an A+ for bedside manner. He definitely did his best to put me at ease, and I appreciated that.
Now comes the gory part.
He asked me if I wanted to begin with the most painful part or the second most painful part. Before I could decide (I was leaning toward the most painful), he suggested that I go with the lesser so as to be better prepared for the other. I was not prepared for either. He warned me that I was going to feel a stick. I felt a stick as the needle penetrated what I can only guess (I had my eyes closed since I sat in the chair) was the area between my nose and my cheek (where the pads of glasses rest). Then he said, “Now your going to feel some burn.” It was like no pain I had ever felt before. It wasn’t some burn, it was like a major burn. I wanted to kick my legs, but I tried to be tough. My right eye started tearing badly. Finally he told me it was over and here we go on the worst part. I asked him to give me a moment. We both waited patiently until my eye stopped tearing, and after a second, I took a deep breath and said, “OK.” He again said, “Small stick” and that’s all I heard. If I thought the other shot was bad, this was the mother of all shots. It felt as if he had gone in at the bridge and pushed a red-hot poker straight down to the very tip of my nose. I wanted to scream; I wanted to kick; I wanted to run. I grit my teeth and felt the tears run down the sides of my face. Then it was over and the pain lingered about a second or two longer.
The rest of the procedure went just fine. I can’t really tell you much because I was in my happy place and ignoring everything else. I can tell you that after the Novocain, the next worst part was the sutures. I couldn’t feel anything, but I could hear the thread as it scraped through the skin. Then, in order to minimize scarring as much as possible, he had to pull the sutures tight before cutting them. I could feel the skin pulling as he pulled taught on the sutures.
Then it was over, and my parents and I went home. I told my dad that I wanted a lollipop, but he wouldn’t give me one. We went over to CVS and got cotton balls (which we returned because my dad read the instructions that the doctor gave me and it said to use Q-Tips instead), Band-Aids, Hydrogen Peroxide, Tylenol, and Neosporin.
We went back to my apartment, watched some more TV, and then we headed to dinner. We dined at the Outback Steakhouse I got a rib-eye. It was very, very good.
Even though it was minor surgery, and I only had 2 moles removed, it was still a trauma to my body, and I was beat, so I went to bed and slept almost 12 hours.
As I was falling asleep I wondered if I will feel phantom pains in my amputated moles.
The other day, Netscape had an article that told what should never be emailed at work from a work account. The first thing was those stupid jokes that fly across the internet faster than a speeding bullet. The reason is simple: you don’t want your coworkers to know that you spend so much time and energy on SPAM. My former boss, the SEAL Leader, is guilty of this. He is always sending things to us, some are funny, some aren’t. The following is a heavily edited list from an email he sent today describing the rules of men. Most were dumb, but a few were funny enough to be worthy of making it to my blog.
- Learn to work the toilet seat. You're a big girl. If it's up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don't hear us complaining about you leaving it down. [OK, although I was raised in a house where girls outnumbered guys and was trained at an early age to put the seat and lid down, I still found this one a bit amusing.]
- Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.
- Ask for what you want. Let’s be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
- Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
- Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That's what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
- Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.
- If you won't dress like the Victoria's Secret girls, don't expect us to act like soap opera guys.
- If you think you're fat, you probably are. Don't ask us. [My personal favorite]
- If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
- You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
- Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials. [My second favorite]
- Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we.
- If we ask what is wrong and you say "nothing," we will act like nothing's wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
- If you ask a question you don't want an answer to, expect an answer you don't want to hear.
- When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine...Really.
- I am in shape. Round is a shape.
I went out again last night with SugarDaddy. We started the rain-soaked evening at Chipotle in Dupont Circle, and retired to the DIK Bar, which seems to be quickly becoming the “usual spot.” Anyhow, we had a very nice time, even if the soft tacos were a little too spicy for SugarDaddy. We pretty much chatted about nothing, so that was nice. All in all it was a enjoyable, relaxing evening.
So, why is Jo Cose boring you with such a trivial evening, and how exactly does this entry apply to the subject heading? Good question, and I shall not keep you in suspense any further:
We left the bar pretty late (time just sort of slipped away from us as we sat and talked). We got the Dupont Circle Metro Station after 1 in the morning. SugarDaddy transferred two stations later, and I was resigned to my long journey home as the Red Line is single tracking between Judiciary Square and Rhode Island Ave. Now, when I say long, I mean that in the truest sense. I didn’t get home until after 2, close to 3 in the morning. I understand that some of the folk on the train were on their way home from the bars, pubs, and restaurants in the city. Likewise, I understand that no one expects the delays to be as long as they are. Nevertheless, I think that no matter how drunk you are, there are certain things that everyone should do to prepare themselves for the journey. For instance, if you were driving, and you knew that there would be delays on the highway, you would make sure your gas tank was full. It seems to me that when you are traveling on a train that you know will be delayed, instead of ensuring that you tank is full, you should ensure that your bladder is empty. If for some reason you forgot to check this before you left the bar, and you find that you need to expel the excess liquid in you system, you should get off the train and ask the station manager if you can use the station’s facilities.
But this beefy Asian guy (who didn’t really look all that drunk), just leaned forward in his seat, unzipped his fly, and let loose with a torrential downpour of urine that seemed to last a good 2 minutes.
Gotta love city living!!
We had a big event at the National Air and Space Museum that was sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I worked the tables that held people’s nametags. Although I didn’t get to meet him, I saw James Cameron walk past my table, and had the guy working the table with me not said, “oh, look, there goes James Cameron,” I doubt seriously that I would have known who the heck he was. But it was still cool. There were some other Senators and Congressmen, but no one I recognized.
As is always true with these events, the food was de-lish, the wine wasn’t bad, and the beer was drinkable. They had pierogies, steak, corn, rice, salad, salmon, crab cakes, marinated chicken on a stick, veggies and fruit, and an open bar. They had really cool glasses, and I really wanted service for four, but it didn’t work out that way. I do live in a 1-bedroom apartment, and it’s usually only me drinking wine, so it’s all good.
The evening’s presentation began at 8 pm, so I left shortly after 8, as my job working the table was over. I was told to put in 3.5 hours of overtime. Now I know that I’m going to get reprimanded for this from the office I officially work for, but what can I do when my immediate supervisor tells me to do it? The last event I worked I got yelled at for doing overtime, but in the end I still got my money. So, if they want to yell at me, I figure it’s fine as long as they pay me my OT.
I got about halfway to the L’Enfant Plaza station when I decided that I really just didn’t want to go home. So, I called the SugarDaddy, as I haven’t seen him in ages, and because of the holidays, I won’t see him until next week. He was out at the DIK Bar supposedly reading the paper and having a drink. So, I decided to join him for a drink before I headed home.
I got down to the L’Enfant Plaza station, and I knew that something was wrong with me…I just chalked it up to the 2 glasses of wine, 1 glass of beer, and 1 glass of sprite. By the time I got to Metro Center, I was sweating profusely, and my stomach started churning. Somehow, I have no idea how, I made it to 17th Street. About a block before the bar, my stomach lurched and the situation went all pear shaped. I knew that there was no time to get back to the Metro and head home, so I needed to face my fears, and hope for the best (for a better understanding of what was going through my mind at this moment, see Desecration). Fortunately, the Dupont Italian Kitchen has a private bathroom downstairs, right when you walk in. I bolted straight for it. Even in my pain and fear of the repercussions if I was too slow, I was able to appreciate the relative cleanliness of this public facility. The biggest problem was the puddle around the base of the commode.
I will not venture into too gory of details, so let’s just say that I did make it in time. There were some lingering effects, however. My ass felt dirty from sitting on a public toilet, and thanks to the aforementioned puddle, I decided to put my pants right into the dry clean pile. I have no idea if they touched the puddle or not, but I’m not taking any chances. So, even though I had just clipped the tag off them that morning, right back into the dry cleaning pile they went.
Once I had washed my hands, tucked in my shirt, and straightened my tie, I headed upstairs to find the SugarDaddy. I found him at the bar, drunk and flirting (good for him—I would have been right there with him, but alas, I was still having some residual effects from the trauma). I drank copious amounts of water that evening, and in the end had a great time. It turned out to be Karaoke night, and we had a great time singing: Jo Cose off-key, SugarDaddy hoarse, and the one being flirted to off beat. It was great.
On the way back to the Metro, SugarDaddy and I argued whether or not it was acceptable to Google someone to find out more info about them. He is adamantly opposed to this practice. He believes in face-to-face communication and feels that if you want to know something about a person, you should just ask them. I told him that I had done it, and used a blind date that I went on as an example. His rebuttal was to ask the point of the date if I was going to learn things from the internet instead of asking the girl. Then I asked him what he thought about my Googling the two profs I’m looking at in the UK? He said that was different since I was looking for their ranking in academia: publications, conferences, etc. I think he made a strong and valid argument. And, I figure if his reaction to be freaked out, offended, and angry over it is normal, then I don’t think I will ever do it again. Fortunately, I really only do it for one reason: to try to find an email address or phone number of friends I have lost track of…not to pry into other people’s lives or to try to “get to know them” without having to do the work of being their friend.
Unfortunately, due to single tracking on the Red Line (and the fact that we didn’t leave until 11:15), I didn’t get home until after midnight, and I am completely knackered!
I have the next two days off of work so that is good, but I don’t think I will be getting any sleep.
If the Greeks had bathrooms, Aristotle would be talking about catharsis in there rather than in tragedy. One should never come between a person and the bathroom. Likewise, a certain decorum should be maintained while in the sacred confines of the Holy of Holies. For me, bathrooms are sacrosanct.
And it is for this reason that it took me a while to identify the “right” bathroom here at America’s Space Agency. We have 9 floors with 3 mens rooms on each, giving a total of 27 rooms. Like Goldilocks of The Three Bears fame, I tried each one. I finally settled on the one that fit me the best. It is just right. Tthe stall doors exist. They have working locks. There is no literature on the walls. There is always ample toilet paper. And, most importantly, it is always clean.
So, imagine my horror when I walked into my bathroom and saw the sight that was waiting. As I crossed the threshold, I could feel my body transitioning from profane to sacred. I could feel my bowels loosening in anticipation. Like the smell of incense in a cathedral, the odors of my temple accosted my nose: disinfectant, cleaning supplies, and soap. I passed the urinals, standing guard like silent porcelain sentries, heading for the stalls. And then I saw the horror.
My thoughts were akin to the Jews entering the desecrated temple. There, before my eyes, in my stall, I could see a set of feet with pants at the ankles. Someone was in my stall. Someone else's ass was sitting on my throne. Life will never be the same again.