There are weird sounds in this building’s bathrooms. The hushed trickle of urine sliding down the back of the urinal. The cleared throats of men avoiding work in the bathroom stalls. The periodic ‘ka-shhh’ of sickly sweet smelling air freshener being excreted at timed intervals. I wonder who thought that over-ripe cherries would be a good smell? Then, there is the shickita, shickita, shickita of the too-short pants but otherwise very expensively dressed man (except on Fridays when he’s clad in Wranglers, geeky tennis shoes and an outdated-looking polo shirt). He’s brushing his teeth.
I usually hit the bathroom the first time around 7:00 AM, and it is mine alone. It’s nice; quiet, cold and calm. My rubber-soled shoes are silent on the tiles of the floor. After two cups of coffee, I return to the room, whose door visible from my desk. And the tooth brush man is there, too. Shickita, shickita, shickita. After lunch, I’m back to make room for one more afternoon coffee before heading home, and more often than not, shickita, shickita, shickita. Finally, just before heading to my car, I head to the rest-room. Yep; shickita, shickita, shickita.
There are several work-bathroom-tooth-brushers in our building. Our bathroom even has little miniature lockers to accomodate the tools of this hobby. It’s admirable, really, and occasionally, I feel guilty for not adding more dental care routines to my daily life. But this particular guy, he brushes his teeth more than any person I’ve ever met.
I never see him go into the bathroom, but I see him leaving it several times a day. I wonder if he brushes his teeth every time he goes in there. I wonder how white his teeth are. I never see them unobstructed by brush or frowning lips. I wonder if he ever gets toothpaste on his black suit. Always black suits or very dark navy suits. Always red ties if he’s wearing one. Pants always just slightly too short.