I always have to pee at the least desirable times. Like right now, as I sit here in this coffee shop, dressed rather cute with my new white jacket that was initially supposed to accompany the dress I never wore—the panty-free dress that made its proud debut in the blogging world.
I’m all dolled up. And why? Why is my hair curled, my lashes too, and my lips a sweet watermelon-color?
Because it’s Thursday, of course.
As I sit here typing, I have a full panoramic view of the room. I can see the fireplace, and unfortunately the man who set up camp right in front of my leather couch, across the coffee table. I’ve been battling his come-hither stares and energy since his prompt arrival, and wondering what’s a girl to do?
I have to pee because I had a huge cup of coffee mixed with organic hot chocolate mix. Can you say double-yum? I had that to-die-for beverage, earlier, when at home.
Arriving at the coffee house, with all my perky-self, I said to the lady behind the counter, a sweet young thing: “I’d like a decaffeinated soy Chai Latte, please!” I flashed a big grin. I liked the sound of my order.
And plus, my jacket said it all: I am sexy, I am cute, and I am fabulous. See the bow in the back of my coat?
My face said the rest: See my big grin. I am so extremely comfortable here. Let me lift my brows to decrease my wrinkles, and set my head so delicately to the right. Am I approachable, yet? Am I fitting in, blending in with the other humans?
The tall bearded man, near the young lady behind the counter, strikingly thin, likely a vegan extremist, eyed me fine and good. He spoke to me without words for a millisecond. Processing. Then he breathed out his thoughts, quick and easy like. With a smirkish clear of his throat, he said: “We don’t have decaf Chai.” He then rolled his eyes and scooted his frailness out of my line of vision. Though he kept watching me with his I-know-more-about-beverages-than-you stare down.
Deflated, I panicked and slid my thoughts to the right, examined, and tried to grasp my next step. Catching an idea, I said, as smoothly as possible, despite the nervous giggle: “Oh, yes, of course Chai is caffeinated.”
Then I felt doubly-incorrect, remembering there is decaf Chai tea in the stores, and for a moment I was in the grocery market, away from the frightful man.
I was quite beside myself with embarrassment, realizing that I’d once again over reacted to the slight poopiness of a stranger.
What to do?
After the boob of a man (Rather Zen of me, don’t you think?) slapped down the tea menu in front of me, I had the keen impression he was fed up with my query-filled eyes. Sucking in my breath, I said, “Ginger tea,” delicately and tried to fluff up my sweetness.
Can’t you see that I’m nice?
With tea in hand, I retreated with imaginary tail between legs to my wall, and then struggled to figure out proper etiquette for placing down my items. Where to put my scarf, keep jacket on (looks cute, keeps me warm, hides my boobs) or take jacket off (keeps jacket clean, might be more comfy), Put laptop on lap, put laptop on table? Cross legs?
And so on.
Endless it is.
Problem is right when I got settled that’s when the stranger arrived. With some fifty other feasible places to sit, he chose to sit directly in front of me, in a position where his line of vision crashes and smacks mine. I can’t even hide behind my laptop.
The stare down begins.
So far, in the last hour, I’ve noted his outdated sneakers (I mean 1980’s black checkered Vans) and his need to pull his hat over his head and nap. I’ve taken random glances when he wasn’t looking, but really wished I had a note on the back of my laptop that read:
This is an experiment—I have Aspergers. Don’t expect me to look you in the eyes or respond to your existence, unless you are a woman my age or very old and safe looking. Or a child. Or a dog. Or even a bird. But if you are a man, beware. You’re invisible. Kind of…..
I really have to pee, now.
I have a laptop, and thusly, in order to vacate my spot, I will have the task of stuffing the laptop in my computer case. That in and of itself, is difficult. I am not very coordinated. Stuffing things inside other things is not my forte. In fact, trying to fit anything inside anything is hard. (I’m embarrassed now, as this someone how once again seems sexual. Like I said, I’m twelve inside.)
Think folding chairs into folding chair’s bag….panic attack. I don’t know which side goes in first. And then I get all bothered with everything that sticks and snags and acts stubborn. I often carry my portable lawn chair in one hand and the designated bag for said chair in the other hand. It’s just how my life is.
I have to figure out if I am going to ask the very, very kind looking woman at the table diagonal to me if she would watch my laptop. However she is deep in conversation, and though her friendly eyes beckon me, I cannot help but visualize her running away with my laptop, all the while smiling in her delight, and screaming: “Ha, ha! You are over-trusting!”
I am now starting to run through in my brain the very feasible scenario of what will happen if I do in fact piddle in my pants.
I really want to keep my place, my cozy spot on the couch; so I am setting my book on the coffee table alongside my scarf, and letting the thoughts of new book and pretty purple ruffled scarf being stolen saturate and then spill out of my brain. I take in a deep breath, wondering if the bow in the back of my coat is in actuality cute or just plain silly for my age.
Deep sigh, stepping forward, while balancing laptop. Glancing back to reassure myself that my spot is still marked and claimed. Thoughts of a dog peeing on a bush to claim his territory enter briefly. Wondering if anyone is in the bathroom and hoping I can reach the sanctuary of the porcelain pot in time.
Standing upright, trying to look confident. Knowing when I stand too upright that my body is bendy-like and I look like a stretchy doll. Smiling, knowing I don’t feel natural when I smile and that likely my eyes are super wide, eyebrows raised, and I look freakishly over-caffeinated.
“Squirrel. Squirrel!” The dog barked in full elation: That sums up my expression, surely.
And so the first threshold is reached:
Back stepping. Where is the dishes window? WHAT is a dishes window. Holding legs closer together. Calculating if I feasibly have enough time left.
Which one do I take. “Excuse me Ms. Is this the right key?” Holding any random key up. Wondering how many bathroom doors there will be.
Go through door to find long hallways and more doors and more signs!!!
Indeed. More directions. Lovely.
Staring this image down. What if someone is already inside? I hear water running. Do I wait?
How do I scan this fricken plastic card?
A lovely young man arrives, and smiles. “Do you need help? Are you having trouble figuring out what to do?”
“Ummmm,” I say meekly with goofy teenage-grin. “What if someone is inside? Do I enter?”
He is smiling, I think, but I can’t tell, because I am staring at my boots. He offers: “You can just….”
And POOF, the door magically opens as the other female patron exits, and I slip inside, red-faced and flustered and scolding my cute little kidneys.
Quick photo snap of a relieved woman, looking, (not surprisingly), drunk and haggard.
As I’m summing up the last details of my excursion in typed print, the friendly looking gentlemen to my left (lots of men in this coffee shop) he pauses, and glances my way, and asks, “Would you mind keeping an eye on my laptop for a minute?”
Overly zealously, I accept.
I must look trustworthy, I think. Or remind him of his mother.
The irony of the handsome lad’s question settles.
I spend the next five nervous minutes wondering what I would actually do if someone snatched up his laptop. Would I chase them? Would I scream?
So much for designating Thursdays as my public outing days…..