Bathroom Concerto

I can hear her all the way down the hallway. She couldn’t hold it any longer. After an hour of waiting for the doctor she had to go and now I stand by the drinking fountain waiting for her to come out of the women’s restroom. People pass me in the hallway and laugh. I just smile and wave. They make the connection and know I’m waiting for her.

When she was little it was the alphabet song. I think she inherited this habit from my mother. I know because she doesn’t know the words. Today it’s the latest tween pop song she heard on the radio. And she still doesn’t know the words. “Boom boom clap, boomty clap,” she starts at the top of her lungs, “shuffle and jump with your hands on your hips.” Is she dancing now? A woman opens the door and walks out of the bathroom shaking her head and covering a smile with her hand. “She’s mine,” I tell her. She already knows.

By now it’s been eight minutes. I start to pace. Still I hear her singing. So does everyone else. “Don’t worry,” my wife told me once, “she’ll grow out of it.” That was three years ago when she used the restroom at the church. I’m surprised she wasn’t recruited for the chorus after that experience. That was about the time that she loudly commented to Brooke how pretty her pink panties were. Even I heard that comment from outside the bathroom. After that, we went to the bathroom in shifts. Now all we have to contend with are the occasional comments about “what’s that smell” and “that lady didn’t wash her hands”. I can’t blame her, I’ve always wanted to ask people about washing their hands too.

Brooke swears next time she’ll send her with me. I counter with tales of men’s room filth and the lack of privacy. As far as she knows every men’s bathroom is fashioned from an old rusty bucket or a hole dug into the ground. They’re lies, but they do the trick. From the men’s room I can her next concerto, this time louder than the last. I love my wife.

You’d think as the years go on she’ll become more discrete. Instead the singing grows louder with every year. Then again, why wouldn’t it? Many a concert hall has been designed after the acoustic model of the classical rest area bathroom. With tiled walls and concrete floors her echo is the perfect accompaniment to her melody. Thank God for the captive audience. Maybe she’ll get a standing ovation.

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