Losing a contest I didn't enter

This may come as an enormous shock both to people who know me and people who don't, but generally speaking, I don't enjoy people. This is a generalization, but not a gross one. I'll specify further. I don't enjoy interacting with people. I enjoy enjoying people from afar. I enjoy people watching and I enjoy eavesdropping and I enjoy listening to banter. The problem is that interactions are just more trouble than they're worth, generally speaking. I hate small talk, I hate chit-chat and above all else, I hate sharing about myself. Mainly because when I'm asked personal questions, it's as a courtesy, not an actual request for information. Also, people don't really care. On top of that, piss off.

Sometimes there's no polite escape though and I'm forced into "conversation." And almost immediately I try to plan my escape. And this is typically the case with people who hold the strong end of the conversation and just need a puppet sitting there they can talk at.

What really super gets my goat is when you say something as simple as, "I'm tired today," and they come back at you with, "You think you're tired? Try getting woken up at 2:30 by the neighbor's mating cats and never getting back to sleep!"

I don't know why people phrase shit like that. So... you're tired too. And you're unpleasant in conversation. And you're hoping I'll have some kind of grand reaction of recognition for you. And I didn't ask in the first place. And I hope you never sleep again.

To these compulsively competitive conversationalists, I say... shut up. Shut the hell up.

When in beautiful Vienna, Illinois

Be sure to visit Dolly's Place, a classic diner to its very core. Off the highway and an hour north of Paducah, Kentucky, Dolly's is nothing less than you would want it to be. Locals discussing hay bales, plastic laminate tables and waitresses being overly helpful making coffee rounds like it was an Olympic event. The eating part was great. No disappointment, no regrets.

The bathroom situation, however, left me uneasy.

Should I be expecting someone?I remember the last time I was in a bathroom with two toilets in the room. It was a Montessori preschool. I only mention that it was Montessori because maybe this is the exact situation they are trying to prepare children for later in life. You know, be free, be creative... and always pee with a friend.

I don't think/know if the Montessori school had an effect on how I turned out. I know that it must have given that I was there during my formative years, learning how to interact with people and learning how not to interact with people. Something very non-Montessori resulted: I like to go to the bathroom alone and furthermore, I don't like to share (more on the latter point later).

The doorknob was round and brass and had one of those twisty locks that just kept going round and round. I didn't want to check the door handle in fear that it would undo all of the important twisting I had just done, as though there were a secret padlock combination code that I had just happened to guess on the first try.

So I unzipped and sat down. I chose the toilet with the flowers because I would at least be closer to the door and have a better visual should a pee buddy enter. Also, you'll notice that the toilet on the left is a "handicap toilet." It's not higher and it even seems like the tank is narrower. But the bowl may be longer. I don't know. I guess it's just polite legally required to have a toilet with bars around it even if the toilet is the same. Anyway, I was on the flower toilet expecting a paraplegic to open the door at any moment.

[Building suspense.]

Anticlimactic is what this story is. Nothing happened. I finished my business, washed my hands and left.

But it was weird, right?