Bowery Mural

Swinging doors and empty corridors

Monday, 21 May 2012

Wandering along the corridors at work at this time of year usually means they're quiet, and the only person you'll meet is an invigilator or a student who's ducked out of their exam early or they've needed a wee wee. (Yes, I've said wee wee. No, you shut up!). Anyhow.

I was walking down the corridor on Friday afternoon. My destination was the exams office. My purpose was to collect exam scripts. Completed ones. Very important. As I walked I heard footsteps behind me. And so began the cat and mouse game. You know the one. "As I pass do I give him the crotch or the ass" (OK so that was a quote from Fight Club I've been dying to use!). But anyway, the game. The one where you hold the first set of doors open because they're quite close behind, but not so close that they're almost on top of you. Close so the you're left standing there holding the door for quite a few seconds longer than ideal.

You smile. "thanks" they say. Nice. Good dead done for the day. But then you happen upon the second set of doors. Their footsteps are closer behind you than before. Do you hold the door again? Of course you do because you can't let it slam in their face. But you realise you got approx ten sets of doors to go through in this corridor. By the time we get to the end we'll end up best pals!

But you hold it open, smile, thanks they say, again. This time their footsteps quicken or is it just that you're now holding back, playing with your phone, slowing down so that they can overtake you, go ahead and swing on through the door to get this whole (by now, awkward) door holding situation over and done with. Except they slow down too. You're now almost side by side. He could even be reading your phone as you walk...

Another set of doors. This time you open it, don't look back, and keep going. Steady paced. You've done the smile and "thanks" routine twice. No need for any more pleasantries.

Up ahead you see it. Praise the universe... an electric door. All you need to do is press the button. There'll be no more awkwardness. No more standing holding that door, waiting on him walking up behind you getting all awkward with himself, doing a quick step so that she isn't holding you back. Which of course he is, because you're having to stand there with the door open. But this electric door. Wowsers. Yes!

You hit that button, the door opens and the two of you can mosey on through without a second look or thought for the other person.

And there you have it. You've had a brief connection in an otherwise quiet empty corridor with a person you've never seen before. You've exchanged pleasantries and you both go on about your business.

And yes, that was a post all about doors and strangers in empty corridors, or was it?... ;)

Angela x


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