I think my bank’s lobby is a dangerous place.
A while back we had the Mothership Guy. Today, I was approaching the teller window when I heard a too-loud voice behind me, from the end of the rope barrier: “You have a bathroom in here?”
The guy was neatly, even severely groomed — a military white-sidewall haircut and clean day-off clothes, and the hundred-mile stare that says you never, never want to date this character or even talk to him in a bar. My favorite teller, a whippy little Italian fellow — about as big as a minute, with his ears barely dry — looked up and said “No, I am sorry, that isn’t available.”
White Sidewalls wasn’t going to take it lying down. “How do you go to the bathroom?” he said confrontationally.
“It doesn’t work like that,” said Tommaso. “We cannot open the bathrooms to the public, it is a secure area. There’s a gas station next door, I’m sure they have one.”
“That’s ridiculous,” said White Sidewalls, looking as if he was daring someone to throw the first punch. He must not have had to go real bad because he stayed there in the line waiting to transact whatever business had brought him in, rocking from heels to toes, looking like a threat level on its way up. I felt the prickle you feel when a bad dog starts to growl. Tommaso, who is always nice to me, made eye contact as he stepped behind the teller who was helping me; for some reason I blew him a kiss. I don’t know what that said to him but it was sort of an accolade for bravery. I stayed edgy till I could finish my business, White Sidewalls glowering behind me.
My car was out in the lot, and in a space that hadn’t been occupied when I entered, a midsize SUV with a specialty plate whose design I couldn’t quite make out but the vanity license VIPERSS; below it was one of those irritating chrome Christian car-fish with the ichthys, IXOYE, enclosed in the stylized outline.
Now that I think of it, there’s nothing in the New Testament about peeing.
I’m glad Tommaso has that Plexiglass barrier.