“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you”
Mother used to always say; “Be where you are when you are there”. A metaphysical suggestion to not waste time longing for that which I don’t have, but rather to enjoy the here and now. Little did I know how taking that advice in its most literal context would have served me well…
The holiday was spent like all long weekends should be – surrounded by friends and family having fun, sharing stories and occasionally washing it all down with slightly more alcohol than was needed. Even the weather was perfect. Atlanta in August is usually oppressive, but the southern storms had given us rain the week prior leaving us with minimal humidity, a slight overcast and a breeze that the city is rarely blessed with.
On the last night , before everyone flew back to their respective bump and grind , we decided to go out to eat. Eating at an outdoor venue was nice – being able to walk a bit after and get ice cream without piling back in to the car was fantastic. Not a unique idea though, as the ice cream shoppe was packed.
The corner retail space within this quaint outdoor strip mall was filled with people sitting outside – enjoying being able to eat a cone full of joy at their own pace – as opposed to speeding through it to prevent the inevitable dripping down the arm. Loitering was encouraged as the tables were full, most of the curb was occupied and the line to buy your iced frogurt De’ Jure was almost out the door.
The shop itself used to be a retail store, and where the window displays had been you could see directly into the store and view the line that awaited you, should you brave your way inside. Which I did. Needing to take a pit stop first, I left a friend in line and detoured to the bathroom. More of an afterthought, the bathroom clearly used to be a storage closet that required a bathroom transformation to be brought up to code since they served food. Getting to it required telling each person I walked past that I was not cutting in front of them, rather making my way to the rest room. By the time I got there, I was REALLY anxious to avail myself of the facilities.
I closed the door, unbuttoned my pants, pulled down my spuds and started to sit down. My butt was halfway to the toilet seat when I realized that not all of the window displays had been closed. I was half naked, mid-croutch, watching the cars drive into the lot, the people walk by and the ten to fifteen kids sitting at the tables right in front of the window. Better put – they were all watching me…
Have you ever tried to fight inertia, gravity, shock, surprise and embarrassment at the same time? WHILE trying to pull up your drawers? The result, I can only image, looked like the combination of an epileptic seizure and complete loss of all small motor control. I landed somewhere south of my right hip, and north of the actual toilet. My pants, being hung up on my calves, were completely around my ankles – my underwear was stretched all the way from my right ankle to my left thigh – in a pretzel like position with the family jewels clearly featured through the display window of this little ice cream shoppe. Any hope of a dignified dismount was way out of my reach.
I took a moment (though it felt like several) to consider my options – none of which I liked. Wishing I had turned the other way when closing the door was getting me nowhere. The kids at the table were clearly intrigued. I noticed at that point the odd seating pattern around the oval table. They were all seated FACING the building… This was a planned trap – and I had jumped right in to it. People walking by were stopping to see what the excitement was all about. I suspect toilet based performance art at a ice cream place is a little unexpected. In New York, sure – but here? Not so much. So I responded with what I considered my only option…
I peeled myself off of my half wall / half toilet bowl stance – stood straight up – turned towards the window – fixed my shirt – grabbed my underwear (thankfully plain, not the ones with the little red hearts or the fishies) – pushed them down to the familiar company of my pants – and walked, or rather shuffled, slowly to the window. A grown man in full monty, with his pants around his ankles, moving slowly toward the backdrop of the display case and closed it. I don’ t think the onlookers expected to see a man giving a ‘home coming queen parade wave’ with his pants around his ankles…
So, after finishing my business – with my pants in their correct and upright position- I reclaimed my place in line. I returned red faced to my entourage and enjoyed a tasty frozen treat. When we all finished, we headed out walking through the parking lot, I looked at that table of kids that had seen more of me than I would have liked. Not only were they still sitting in a half circle, but someone had gone in and opened the display back up. There they were – patiently waiting for their next victim. The intermission was over – the next show was about to begin.
Some you win, some you lose… some are just a draw. This one could be called any of the above.
‘Course that’s just how it looked through my eyes. Your view may be different.