I don’t hold many things sacred – not sharing a slice of toast with someone, not being able to eat a pizza without a Coca-Cola, not dining with dyslexic people. In other words: the usual. But one thing I do think is everyone’s right is to not be disturbed when they are in the toilet.
Tonight on the train a man threatened this right. Nay, he threatened mine – and your – civil liberties. For…he knocked on the door twice when I was doing a piss.
When I had finished and washed my hands, which admittedly took a little longer than usual because I couldn’t work out where all the constituent elements (SOAP! WATER! DRYING AIR!) he was stood there. As BOLD AS BRASS. His cowardly mouth said he was in a hurry. His knocks had indeed been terrorism*: each knock a metaphorical airplane into the two World Trade centre towers of my silent urine-making.
Well Osama** if your need for a lavatory is so fucking important why not use one of the other toilets on the fucking train? There’s like one at the end of every carriage. I WAS IN FIRST CLASS FOR SHIT’S SAKE. The bastard went to go past me before another brave, yes – another, I am brave – passenger pointed out she was waiting before him. The she went in.
I could barely process all this information. You know what it’s like – I believe the phrase in medical jargon is post traumatic stress. A minute or two later the woman passed me. She stopped and for a second we shared a brief moment of survivors guilt. Then she said, “I told him you had only just gone in.”
Now, I had clarity. What a mother fucker: if she had told him that when he knocked he KNEW she was already waiting and still tried to go in front of her. There was only one thing I could do about this, it was the same thing as any mid-30s self-important prick with a yearning for attention could do about it: I would write a blog about it.
*I want to make it clear that this is in no way based on the gentleman’s ethnicity. He was though.