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photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Invisible Woman

That's me.

And it's not political or sexual or anything of that nature, it's a cold hard fact.

Remember when public bathrooms had faucets that turned on manually? I do.

That was great.

Because now they all seem to have sensors- the magical black dots under where the water flows out that supposedly "see" your hands coming so they can turn the water on.

Those things.

They can't see me.

I take that back. They DON'T see me.

If they couldn't see me, that would be that.

Sometimes that seems to be the truth. Because they just don't turn on no matter how much I wave my hands in front of them- now close, now back a little bit, now quickly, now in slow motion, doing the Invisible Woman dance in front of the mute and waterless faucets.

If I'm very lucky, there is hand sanitizer next to the soap for me to use in my invisible-osity and I leave the bathroom weighed down by my physical nothingness.

But SOMETIMES...

I approach the faucets and make a preliminary cursory half-assed feint at it.

*and the water turns on*

Bubbling over with the joy of victory, I wet my hands and apply soap liberally, then work up a good lather (like the little signs on the wall tell me to).

The faucet turns off while I do that- the very essence of water-saving austerity.

Very serious stuff, very grown-up, adult sort of stuff for a faucet I think to myself while my hands become a veritable mound of suds.

*FOOL*

I wave my soapy hands under the faucet. Nothing.

I bobble my sudsy digits back and forth in front of the faucet. Nothing.

I pound on the very faucet itself in frustration. I swear I can hear it giggling.

I should note here that the only places this particular scenario plays out are the bathrooms that do NOT offer any type of paper products except of the toilet paper variety.

Perhaps you've tried drying anything other than your nether regions with toilet paper- it ain't pretty and it ain't effective.

Leaving me with hands full of soap and no way to dry them except under the automatic hand dryer.

Which doesn't work because soap does not air dry. That's why you rinse it off.

When you can get the damn faucet to work.

MEANWHILE

Any number of other people- adults, children, large, small...all nonchalantly stroll up to the faucets on either side of me and the faucets turn on. Then off. Then on again.

In desperation, I've lunged at the water as soon as the previous washer walks away.

If I'm First Rinse, it generally stays on.

If I'm Soaped Up, nothing short of a sledgehammer uppercut would elicit so much as a drop.

So there I am, soapy hands, cursing, staring back at my reflection in the mirror.

*?*

If I have a reflection, I can't be invisible.

*Bastards*

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