I’m not sure my lovely wife quite captured the essence that was old-Indian-woman-peeing-with-the-door-open fiasco. So, here’s my version. Enjoy.
I had just come out of one of the stalls on the opposite side of the plane from our seats. (Referring to airplane bathrooms as a bathroom is more than overly generous. We all know it. Why not admit it?) Before I could cross the corridor back to my seat, a man appeared and blocked my way as he tried desperately to get into a bathroom. Probably because he had looked over his shoulder, and being Indian himself, knew what was coming. I mention him mostly because his interference is proof that fate had it in for me at this particular moment.
Anywho, as a result, I wasn’t able to cross the corridor because my mother taught me to be polite (Oh fiddle my upbringing!), so I let him go through first. After he finally closed the door and there was room for me to pass, I again attempted to make my way back to my seat, but alas that was not to be—two very old Indian women at least in their 80’s, and yes they did look like goblins, made their way into the corridor and opened the closest bathroom stall blocking my way yet again.
Now as the first elderly woman entered the stall and the door began to swing shut, my life to that point had been relatively normal and unstained. The second hag had other plans. At first, I thought she was simply catching the door to quickly remind the woman to flush, as they seem to need reminding of that. Then, as the first woman began to shift her skirt, I thought maybe they were unaware that I was there and that the second woman had only held the door open so wide for so long because she was maneuvering herself to join the first woman in the narrow stall. The physics of that having quickly been calculated along with the realization that the door was still open…still open…still open… I gasped as the skirt continued its journey upwards as the first elderly woman began to squat. Thankfully—and I do find it hard to use that adverb in any way associated with this tragedy—there was a screen within reach that I used to obscure my view.
I waited patiently, checked, waited patiently some more, checked, waited less patiently, and then prayed a little. Finally, the ladies finished their bladder matinee and waddled their way out of the corridor. They did not flush. I cautiously made my way back to my seat, ashen and speechless. The torture was dragged out further by the fact that the ladies were trapped between the bathrooms and our seats by the cursed flight attendant who was now serving beverages. After returning to my seat, I realized I would have to endure more as the wretched goblin-woman sat down in the empty seat next to me to rest her smelly, weary bones whilst waiting for the service to finish and allow her to return to her seat. I smiled at her weakly and vomited a little in my mouth.
It took me a while to express what had happened in words. Adding to this blog has helped me deal with my emotional scars. I hope to be a whole person again some day soon.