I could feel the warmth of the blood running inside my nose as my eyes clouded over with tears. I looked around, taking a quick inventory of any potential witnesses, nodded to an approaching lady, and then reached up to touch my nose. Blood was making its trek down my face and mouth in rivulets.
I hunched over instinctively to protect my dress shirt and began making my way for a grassy patch vaguely visible through the glassy fog. I bent over the grass while I collected my thoughts. The blood was coming quickly now.
Five minutes earlier I stepped from the office where I was working to go to the men’s room—only to discover that the security officer was locking the door. “A main water valve thing-a-ma-jig that services all of the men’s rooms in our office tower has given up on life. You’ll have to go to Tower One and use the restroom on the first floor,” security said.
Down the hall, left to the elevator, ride five floors, weave through the lobby, past the auditorium, out the double glass doors, across the breezeway, through another set of double glass doors, and into the lobby of the adjacent tower. I looked right; looked left. I wandered here, wandered there. Passed the cafeteria.
I thought about asking for directions, but then came to my senses. “I’m a man. I can’t ask for directions,” I muttered in determination. Ah, a clue: the water fountain. Sure enough. Finally.
With that taken care of and the course plotted for my return trip to the office, my mind returned to the work I had been focused on moments earlier. Remember those double glass doors I passed through coming into Tower One? While I was in the men’s room someone propped the outer door open, which I noticed immediately. However, I forgot all about the inside door.
I never saw it coming.
My head was turned slightly to the left and I was walking briskly, full speed actually. I heard the noise before I felt anything and wondered for a moment whether my abrupt stop caused the noise or was in response to the noise. In light of the rapidly escalating pain, I deduced that the former was the case.
While my head buzzed, my nose and forehead began complaining vociferously. This concerned me, but my first priority was clear: I wonder who witnessed this stupid move and how I can adequately explain why I just walked into a door I have passed through a dozen times? I have shattered any dignity and composure I ordinarily exude.
Next time, I’ll conclude my tale, but only after first sounding “retreat”