I was an asshole today. Shopping in the grocery store, I knew suddenly that I needed the bathroom.
Of course, it was a single “one size fits all” type of washroom, and I found the door to be locked. No noise from inside, so I thought someone must be squatting and reading the sports section. Two minutes go by, then three. I jiggle the handle to let them know there is someone waiting. Another minute. Then the sound of paper towels and running water. Good, must be done. Nope. Another minute of complete silence. I jiggle again. Then someone blows their nose. This is when I thought what the hell are they doing?
Two more minutes. Another jiggle, more vigorous this time.
After a total of about 8 minutes, the door opens tentatively and a big lumbering young guy wearing a funny hat comes out. I am in complete distress by this time, and push in behind him before he even has a chance to leave. I slam the door, and have made it just in time.
When I’m done my two or three minutes, I hear a conversation outside the door. It’s the young guy complaining to the store manager about “that man who slammed the door”, and asking him if he would have a talk with me. He sounds upset and scared, but not angry (as Yours Truly was when he slammed the door). The manager is commiserating with him and asking him to continue his shopping and would he like any assistance etc.
I open the door, push past them, and continue about my business.
When I’m done my shopping, I see the young guy in the vegetable section. I have an urge to keep on going, but instead walk up to him and say “Listen buddy, I’m sorry.” He looks surprised and still a little scared. I said “I’m sorry for slamming the door like that. I was gonna poop my pants at any moment.” He said “Well, thank you for apologizing. I was really scared and thought I did something wrong.” At this point, I felt about two feet tall, but I just gave him a soft pat on the arm and said “See you later and have a good day.”
I won’t give excuses for the boorish behavior, except to say that there could be some things to be taken into consideration.
This guy could have beaten the crap out of me, but instead I found him to be a gentle and simple soul.
I was lucky. Lesson learned for today. Could have been worse.
Lee Dunn has been writing since the age of 18, but found that work got in the way for the ensuing 48 years. In his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he reveled in his independence at an early age, and spent as much time as he could exploring the city’s Arts scene. He was introduced to poetry and prose by the works of two literary giants, namely J.R.R. Tolkien and J.W. Lennon and thence fell in love with the written word. His work includes poetry, short fiction, and personal essays, and ranges in theme from the surreal to the horrific, nostalgic, and themes on the human condition. He has been published on Spillwords.com, The Dark Poets Club, Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Crepe & Penn Literary magazine, and the Shelburne Free Press.