The office bathroom, a room where I once almost died, has been on my mind lately.
Which means, of course, that I have been forced to do something.
In a move that expresses both my desire to remain semi-oblivious to the strainings of the gal in the next stall and the need to add more music to my life, I have brought a clock radio into the situation.
There it sits, on the counter, next to the double sinks just under the mirror, a vision of late-80s splendor.
It blinks the time continuously – roughly seven hours and 23 minutes off – because I cannot be bothered to set it correctly.
It’s not about the time, people.
It’s about the distraction it provides.
And even that is not what it is about.
What it is about is the burgeoning radio war.
Tamra is perplexed.
“Every time I go into the bathroom, it’s on a different station. Are you doing that?”
“Nein,” I say.
She shakes her head. “I’ve been in there three times today; and each time I go in, it’s a new station.” She pauses. “The last time I was in there, Billy Idol’s White Wedding was playing.”
She pauses again, bemused. “White Wedding,” she repeats.
“I can beat that,” I say.
We turn, in our little double-wide cubicle, knees toward each other.
“Barry White,” I say. “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”
We grin at each other.
“The bathroom,” Tamra says, “is just one aspect of life’s rich tapestry.”
And so now that the women of the 48th floor have become accustomed to the buttons and dials of a 30-year-old clock radio, the station changes, perhaps hourly, from Dance to Pop to Orchestral to Soul.
And late yesterday afternoon, someone actually turned it off entirely.
“What’s it mean?” I ask Tamra.
Tamra, a practical woman with a wardrobe I wish I could squeeze into, regards me. “I have no idea.”
We blink at each other.
“No one knows,” I say, “who brought it in. And I’ve overheard people talking, that the music sure beats the awful silence created as four women in four different stalls all wish that the others would leave so they could do what they came in to do.”
Tamra nods. There is wisdom in this.
“And yet the stations change, possibly hourly.”
And shaking our heads, we turn back to our work.
Are women really that fickle?