Setting: bathroom of the Central Library, Brooklyn, last Sunday, closing time.
We all crowded in for our last chance to pee, for free (something I don’t take for granted). The bathroom was a mess, and the stalls were out of toilet paper.
‘It’s out of toilet paper, but I saved you the last square’, a woman said to her friend.
‘It’s out of toilet paper’, the friend said sympathetically to me as she exited.
‘I’ll use a seat cover’, I announced, thinking my ingenuity might help another.
‘It’s out of toilet paper’, I said to the next woman in line, who laughed and said, ‘It’s okay. I’ll just shake-shake-shake’.
Outside a police officer stood guard shouting ‘The women’s restroom is closed! The library is closed!’ and lecturing passersby on how unthinkably terrible it is to wait until 6 o’clock to go to the bathroom.
A woman approached her unafraid and declared that she’d been waiting since before 6, but the line was too long, and they both geared up for an argument.
‘There’s no toilet paper, anyway’, someone interjected.