new old this that am

Men in office bathrooms

operate in silence.

either through a socially induced air of professionalism, some unspoken homophobia, or other under studied phenomena we stand next to each other at urinals staring straight ahead

never looking down. Left or right is just not an option.

At the sink we pause in polite choreography.

   Kevin waiting for Steve to finish with the soap dispenser
   Steve standing -- hands dripping -- as John fishes a towel from the holder with the bad release.

Standing before a trash can sunken into the wall, I dry my hands thoroughly to avoid the plague,

Mr. Ramanathan walks in, opens the second privacy door, stands still to let me out. A step closer to the trash howls I'm still disinfecting.

      Tim slips by.   A stall door closes.

We the men in office bathrooms are a ballet of mimes in khaki, white shirts blind to faces, serenaded by a symphony of automatic toilet flush

         ignoring the ol' factory.

new old this that

Since Feb 2001

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