In My Defense

my husband is a very distinctive looking person. We’ve always said he could never be a spy because people always notice him and then always remember noticing him. For one thing, he’s huge. He’s 6 foot 4, and wears a size 14 shoe.  When I had my last surgery as the pre-op nurse was wheeling me to the O.R. she leaned down and said , as if pointing out something new and interesting to me.

“Your husband is a really big guy.”

Me, smiling the goofy smile that only Versed can provide: “Uh-huh.”

Nurse: “Seriously, he’s HUGE. How much does he weigh?”

Me, giggling: “Uh, I’m not sure. You could ask him”

Nurse: “Yeah, I don’t think I will.”

Because, besides being a big guy, my husband has a kind of Shrek (his occasional nickname) meets strip club bouncer meets aging WWF wrestler look about him. (Oh, wait, that might actually be all the same look)  He doesn’t have any tattoos or piercings but he does have a long ponytail that he sometimes wears in a topknot, or cornrows.  And he’s a good guy. He would absolutely help you if your car had broken down by the side of the road, even if it was at night. And raining. And he had somewhere else important to be. Since he’s retired from the USMC he has grown his hair out for Locks of Love- twice! But if you didn’t know him and saw him in a bar, you might hesitate to pick a fight with him, if you were the fight picking type.

The point I’m taking so long to make is that he’s unusual enough looking, that when two co-workers tell me, as I sit at the break room table, head bent over my smartphone, that my husband has just walked by the door and gone into the bathroom, I believe them. Not just one co-worker, mind you. The hubby sighting was confirmed by a second tech!

So naturally I’m concerned. Because Geoff is not one to visit my workplace unannounced. We are also not the kind of couple that has to phone and text throughout the day as some couples do. Most days I can wait until I get home to share the highlights, or more realistically, bitch about the lowlights of my day with him. I remember that morning he had said something about not feeling so great. So I think:

He was going somewhere and became ill and came to tell me at the hospital but was so sick couldn’t even stop to say hello before heading straight to the bathroom.

So I wait for him to come out. And I wait. And wait. Nothing. There is no sound from behind the door. Which concerns me. So I tap on the door.

“Are you OK?”

There is a pause. And then:

“Yeah”

It didn’t sound EXACTLY like him, but then, he’s not well, remember? He might be on the verge of passing out, or having an M.I., or something even more life threatening! So I say:

“Do you need me to come in there?”

I don’t know what I thought I was going to do, but ….I just had visions of the man passed out in his own vomit. ( I do tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac, even when it comes to other people)

“No!”

” Are you sick? What’s going on? Are you sure you don’t need help?”

No answer.

I’m really starting to worry because, Geoff is an extrovert. He’s not shy about…well, anything. He would happily give anyone a play by play of what he’s doing in the bathroom, public or not.  He must be really, really  sick. And in the meantime, my pending log is growing longer by the minute with STATS from the E.R. I really need to get back to work.

And then suddenly the door swings open to reveal…(as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now)

NOT my husband, but a man named Thunder, a hospital transport guy, looking not even a teensy bit amused.

Thunder is the one person in the entire hospital organization who could possibly be mistaken for my husband. He is a big tall guy with a long dark ponytail. He always wears a big ring with a lightning bolt on it. I see he is wearing it today. I haven’t seen Thunder in at least a year. I hadn’t even realized he was still working at the hospital. I have never seen him use the lab bathroom. Until today of course.

I am, as I’ve never heard anyone actually say, completely gob-smacked. It is as if I have opened Schrodinger’s box to find out the true state of the cat once and for all, only to find out it is in fact, Schrodinger’s pet Dachshund, very much alive and pissed off. It takes me a few seconds to adjust to this new universe where my husband is safely at home watching a Kung-Fu movie on Netflix and Thunder stands unhappily before me in the bathroom door.

“Oh My God! Thunder!” He seems baffled as to how I know his name. Just like my husband, everyone knows who HE is, but he has no idea who I am. But he knows he hates me. Of that, I am quite sure.  And then I yell into the lab.

“It was Thunder!!! Thunder was in the bathroom!!! Heather, Brittany, come here!!” I turn to Thunder and hold out my arms in a “Hold on a minute” gesture. “Just..please, wait here a second. I want them to see you.”

But Thunder doesn’t want to be seen. Thunder wants to get the hell out the lab.  And who could blame him? He probably thought the lab bathroom was a more quiet, private venue in which to, you know, and then some obviously insane woman starts knocking on the door. I picture him staring at the bottom of the door, waiting for the shadows of my feet to move so he could sneak out and then having the horrible sickening realization that I wasn’t EVER going to leave.

He ignores my pleas and never saying a word, takes off down the hall toward the door, and with one backwards glare at me and my co-workers who have finally arrived to see what all the commotion is, is gone.

“Seriously? ‘Do you want me to come in there?!’ Who even says that?? Sonya says, shaking her head. “Only you, Kristen.”

And then I am nearly helpless with laughter. I’m in serious danger of peeing my pants, but I’m hesitant to go in the bathroom. Thunder had been in there a really long time.

Thunder, who I am confident, will never use the lab bathroom again. Ever.

But in my defense, I have a screw loose somewhere. I can often hear it rattling around. And they said it was my husband.

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