Too often for comfort, I find myself looking around in awe, wondering if instead of an autonomous being, I am actually a character in a Wes Anderson movie who has somehow ripped through the time/space continuum to become the first ever to recognize that they are not real and are in fact, just a scripted, awkward, fictitious being (that or a Seinfeld episode– but since I like Wes Anderson movies and abhor Seinfeld reruns, or when Charlie recounts the entire plot of a Seinfeld episode to the point where I feel as though I’ve seen the rerun, I’ll opt for a Wes Anderson movie instead). The situations where I recognize my predicament are those where I find myself uncomfortable without any outlets to relieve said discomfort. Uncomfortable in a way that I’d be squirmy if I were the viewer, but is so awkward that the sheer absurdity of the situation makes a deep joy bubble out of the insides of me, accompanied by loud, uncontrollable guffawing laughter. Sometimes, I feel like there’s a point that something is just so weird and super far outside of the social norm that you can’t do anything but laugh– and not laugh in a mean, I’m-laughing-at-you way (he he), but laughing in a happy, I’m-laughing-with-you way (ha ha).
I imagine that if I were a movie script writer, I would think, “this stuff is so good, it had to be made up…. Nothing this clever and deliciously awful happens in real life!” Somehow, these are the situations that make my life. Sometimes with the clever parts included, all the time with the deliciously awful ones, all of them lined up along a timeline at different intervals, strung together with singing and playing guitar.
Sometimes, it’s flat out mortifying. I’m not yet as cool and detached as Margot Tennenbaum, so I spend quite a bit of time blushing. But I also spend a lot of time retelling the stories to others and to myself in my mind, relishing in the weirdness of them all and laughing at myself.
Today, I ran into Claire in the restroom if a public building that we both frequent (which will remain unnamed to protect us from any creepster bathroom lurking stalkers). I had seen and spoken with her earlier that morning, so I was not surprised to find that she was in the same building as me. It was a bit surprising to round the corner to walk into the bathroom and find her doing the same exact thing. When we looked up and made eye contact, we both started laughing (ha ha, not he he).
We walked in together and took our places in adjoining stalls. We chatted through the partitions. Keep in mind that although that in and of itself is really weird (I don’t care how many women do that when they go to the restroom in groups, I think that we were designed to NOT chatter while we’re doing something as personal as potty), Claire and I spend a lot of time on the road together, peeing in adjacent stalls at interstate rest areas. So, I guess when it comes down to it, although I refuse to talk to other people who follow me into the bathroom and try to talk to me through stalls (you would be surprised at how often that happens to me at shows with fans), I’m immune to the weirdness of it when I’m peeing with Claire. Thus, having not spoken to each other in approximately twenty minutes, we had a lot to catch up on.
The conversation went something like this:
Claire: So, I was in here on Tuesday and I thought that you were here, too.
Me: Nope, I was in Jacksonville for a funeral on Tuesday. It wasn’t me.
Claire: Yeah, I figured that out. I was in here and someone came in and sat in the stall next to me. I saw their shoes so, I thought that it was you. But then when they started peeing, I thought, “hmm… definitely not Sarah. That’s not what it sounds like when Sarah pees.”
Looming silence that stretches out long enough to let that thought settle in and make the viewer twitchy…
Sarah and Claire: [Simultaneous peals of raucous laughter (ha ha and he he) with intermittent choking due to the forcefulness of the laughter.]
Claire: Oh my God, that was awkward.
Sarah: Oh my stars, not only was it awkward, but really funny. I hope that someone is in the third stall there listening.
Sarah thinks to herself: [Wow, this instance was not as cleverly written as most of the material that I usually get to play, but still as awkward and funny… maybe today instead of being in a Wed Anderson movie, I’m in a Judd Apatow movie…]
We wash our hands, still giggling (all ha ha by this point in time) and walk out of the bathroom.
Luckily, no one else was there to experience it without the background knowledge of the nature of our relationship, or else they might have been very confused and unsettled after witnessing (aurally, at least) our interaction. We depart.
Claire: Okay, well, I’m gonna go back to my computer.
Sarah: Okay, well, I’m sure I’ll see you later.
What Sarah doesn’t say, but really wants to: [What does it sound like when I pee? The romantic, dreamer part of me likes to think that it’s musical…]
That really would be too good to be true.