One Hand Washes The Other

To Jonas, the bathroom was a place for business. The trays of mints and colognes sat waiting to be used, and the tip jar waited anxiously. Rarely fed and forever hungry, that jar.

A young man and an older executive-type entered the room, headed straight for the standing urinals against the wall. Jonas kept his gaze level, his hand clutching the wad of paper towels in his back pocket.

The older gentleman finished first, washing his hands with the almond-scented soap before shaking them dry, splattering water on the mirror. Jonas grimaced.

As he accepted the towel that Jonas held in his hand, the old man winked and dropped a dollar into the jar. Jonas smiled, stuffing the remaining wad back into his pocket.

Now the young man stepped forward. He looked at Jonas in the mirror, and smirked as he scrubbed his hands meticulously. After washing, he popped one of the red and white mints into his mouth and gave himself two spritzes from the clear blue cologne bottle next to the sink.

Jonas held out a paper towel, but the young man rebuffed him. The mint clacking in his teeth, he laughed and wiped his hands on his pants. Jonas smelled the rich peppermint, mixed with the heavy musk of the cologne, and felt it strike his face like a fist.

“Thanks bro, but I got it.” As the young man strode from the bathroom whistling a happy tune, Jonas shoved the paper towels back into his pocket.

Before long, a fat man in an overcoat waddled into the bathroom and stood at one of the urinals. Jonas stood upright, clutching the paper towels in his pocket once more.


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