You know the feeling you get when you’re aware that you’ve missed something – forgotten something – something that will probably come back to bite you in the butt unless you can just remember what that thing was.
I had no such feeling.
There I was, sitting on the toilet of the train from Etchingham to London, blissfully reading From Russia With Love whilst doing The Business, beginning to wonder if attempting to do The Business in a non-public facility would perhaps have been more charitable to my fellow train companions. The only thing apart from the novel I was aware of in fact, was that pretty soon I’d have to put down the paperback and pick up something a little more dispensable, but I considered that move to be my future rather than my present. In retrospect, thinking otherwise would probably have proved worse, so thank you Ian Fleming.
Now comes the feeling of potential forgetfulness.
The sudden realisation of what I’d done becomes excruciatingly clear. The curve of the lavatory door starts to crawl towards the wall it will disappear into. I never locked the door. It slowly edges away from me, opening up the corridor and uncovering the waiting, surprised face of a middle-aged man in a thin, blue suit gazing inwards. I never locked the door. His eyes automatically drawn to the increasing view of the restroom and more importantly, a hefty side-portrait of my pale posterior. I never locked the blasted door.
He collects himself before I do and mutters a quick “sorry” that can only come from a Brit who knows that in no way was this situation his or her fault, before scurrying out of eye-line of my snowy behind. I return the apology with genuine and ready embarrassment laced heavily into the words, face continuing to redden with the realisation that the door is actually still opening. The overriding ‘close’ button was never an overriding close button, it was simply an ‘I’m going to wait until everyone can see you before kicking in’ type of useless, idiotic, good-for-nothing ‘close’ button. Not that I’m bitter.
There are four press-able buttons once you’ve made it into the bathroom, only two of which you need immediately concern yourself with upon entering:
Close and Lock. Close… and Lock.
The door begins its journey back to it’s rightful, sealed position. Half the corridor’s passengers are still in plain view. There’s nothing I can do. I return to my book. M is briefing James on his latest mission to Istanbul, obviously there’s a beautiful woman involved.
… and Lock.