Last Thursday night I went to Olin. As I walked up the steps towards the front entry chamber, I could see someone else walking toward the entry chamber from the lobby side. My view was partially obscured, but I could see their head, and that was enough. The other individual neared the other side of the entry chamber at a similar if not equal rate.
I recognized him as someone I had seen on the main floor many times prior; we had made eye contact awkwardly several times in the past and had once scrabbled for control of a highly desirable electrical outlet. We reached our respective sides of the chamber simultaneously.
As I placed my hand on the door handle, I looked up to anticipate his direction. He, too, raised his eyes, meeting mine for the smallest possible fraction of a second before we redirected our gazes to the floor, then to the side. We opened the doors concurrently, which was difficult because opening the doors at the same time created a weak vacuum within the chamber, initiating a strong gust of wind that blew across my face and hair, parting my bangs in the middle like Sean from “Boy Meets World.”
Upon entering the chamber, there was a ¾ second pause as we feinted in both directions, each trying to discern the intended direction of the other. We both chose WRONG, almost slamming into each other as we charged purposefully to the left, our heads down. He tried to step right, but the inner door of the chamber was still open so he just backed awkwardly against it. The impact of his body with the door caused him to exhale sharply, his stale Sabra-breath coating my face and shoulder.
In a desperate bid for control, I placed my hand gently on his shoulder and pushed him lightly aside, clearly delineating the spatial boundaries of the chamber and thus assuring absolute lack of contact for the duration of our enclosure. He grimaced and I knew his pain. We both exited the chamber, ashamed.