I stood before the two doors, entrances to the restrooms at a small café known as The White Dog and felt like I was watching a tennis match.
I looked at the left door. Then the right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.
How in the hell was I supposed to know which one was the men’s room?
Both had a painting of a dog.
To my left, a big white dog with brown spots. Pointers, it said. Pointers? That’s probably for the men, right?
The other side a mostly white dog, similar enough to the other that I really couldn’t be sure. Setters, it said. Setters? That’s close enough to sitters, right? And women sit on the toilet no matter what…so…
I had no idea what to do. I could go with my gut since a peeing guy would definitely be considered a pointer. But what if I was wrong? And not only did I go in there, use the bathroom, spot whatever sort of feminine stuff was usually in a bathroom and then as I attempt to discreetly leave find a woman waiting to use it? I’d be so busted!
I checked the lower half of the paintings, hoping for some sort of doggie parts that might answer my question. No luck. I would have to take a chance.
I opened the pointers door and relaxed as I saw that the seat was not down.
He walked up to the elevator, which seemed to be taking a lot longer than usual. A young woman stood with seven grocery bags wrapped around her wrists with four more resting on the floor under the buttons while another waited with a dog calmly sitting on the cold linoleum floor.
The bell on the elevator dinged and waited that moment that always occurs between the bell sound and the doors opening and he watched as the grocery girl stood there, just staring at the bags she wasn’t currently holding. He had no idea how she’d even carried so much from the market to the building.
“Can I help you with those?” he asked her.
She laughed awkwardly and nodded. “I was just trying to figure out how I would get them on before the doors closed.”
He returned a laugh, grabbed her bags and carried them onto the elevator. The girl with the dog hit the five button and looked at both of them expectantly.
“Oh I’m on five too.”
“Seven,” she said. “Feel free to put the bags by my feet.”
“No problem,” he said as he followed her instructions.
“Thanks so much,” she said with a smile. He nodded as the doors opened and he followed the girl with the dog out.
As the doors shut and the elevator slid away, the girl with the dog said, “What, do you have a thing for her or something?”
“No,” he responded. “I have a thing for helping my fellow human beings.”
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