Monday, July 04, 2011

Responsibility

On Sunday afternoon, I walked to the Brunswick Library. I needed to hire out a book called "The Slap" by Christos Tsiolkas. This is because it's a very good book, and also because I was a quarter of the way through my own copy when I inadvertently left it at Southern Cross Station.
In the toilets, along with a packet of Chicco D'Oro coffee.

So I hired out 'The Slap' and read a little of it in a comfy chair in the library. Then I was called by nature to answer an urgent call, one that required a lengthy sit down on the porcelain throne. The library provides such facilities and I went to work, reading 'The Slap' as I did so.

The toilet was peaceful but I did seem to hear one person enter and leave, quiet like.

After I had finished my business and exited the cubicle, I was faced with an unusual sight: there was a bloody sanitary napkin, aka fanny pad, right in the middle of the floor.

Thoughts immediately crowded my brain, first of these being 'Wha...?'

Had a bloody/bleeding woman taken a wrong turn, suddenly realised she was in the wrong bogs, thought 'Feck it!' and whipped the offending item out and surreptitiously dumped it on the floor?

Was it a statement? An art statement? A test for me? A practical joke?

Had some poor bloke suffered a terrible injury forcing him to wear lady's jam rags? Perhaps he'd been riding a bicycle when he suffered a seat malfunction, sending the saddle post straight through Biffin Bridge. That would smart a little.

Still, no excuse for depositing his butcher's dishcloth right on the floor, no matter what sort of pain he/she was in.

I kicked the offending item to the wall and went to wash my hands. Just as I was about to leave I was overcome with a feeling of civic duty.

Responsibility.

What if a child or a disabled or a sensitive person walked in and saw that on the floor?

I'm of a sound and steady disposition, but others could be psychologically broken by such a sight.

I knew what I had to do.

I got a load of paper towels from the dispenser on the wall, scrunched them up, and gingerly picked up the blood sponge and deposited it in the bin.

Responsibility: a six syllable word that's moderately easy to say, but means so much. I had done my duty.

Later, I went to the supermarket and picked up a packet of dried French lentils. The bag split and the contents started to spill on the floor.

Did I leave the bag on the shelf, to continue to cause a nuisance to staff and customers? No, I picked it up and sealed the split with the firm grip of my manly hands. Then I took it to the checkout operator and explained what had happened.

I'm RESPONSIBLE.

2 comments:

whynotsmile said...

I'm so proud of you. I really am.

Anonymous said...

nice story, I didn't know quite what you were referring to when you told me this story briefly the other day. So many slang words, perhaps irish?, that I hadn't heard before. I feel expanded in my vocab. thanks, xx