1. “Did you get a haircut?”

Play it safe. Play it smooth. You’re not a stranger walking in off the gritty street to pee in a pristine bathroom reserved for top-tier butts; you’re a regular, and you care about the staff.

2. “I swear this morning it was gorgeous out —
almost left this jacket at home!”*

Distract them. Everyone loves talking about the weather, especially when it changes over the course of the day. You’re familiar with the climate on this particular block, and you know when something’s just not right. Bathroom? What bathroom? Only the bathroom whose porcelain comforts you always seek when the turbulence of the outdoors becomes too much for you.

*- I only say this on days that began pleasantly but which experienced mild showers later on.

3. “Oh, wow! Thanks again!”

You’re energetic, enthusiastic, grateful — all personality traits you wouldn’t find in someone too impatient to wait in line at the Starbucks bathroom around the corner. You’re practically bubbling over with an endearing confidence that allows you to move fluidly through this space like urine in a pipe. Specifically, the pipe belonging to the toilet you definitely did not come here to use.

4. “I’ve got two more coming but they’ll be a little late.”

Not only is this a pre-meditated visit, but you’ve got company as well. You’re a busy person with places to go, people to see, and bowls to flush. There’s no time to dilly dally, as any fresh-off-the-asphalt pedestrian would. You’ve got people depending on you, looking up to you — you wouldn’t let them down by just waltzing into any old building to observe the exfoliating powers of their restroom soaps, would you? Of course not. You’re here for business stuff.

5. “Me again! Sorry, haha.”

Oops — didn’t you just see me, the person who has in fact entered this building before, and is doing so again due to a harmless, if not hilarious, mistake (an abandoned wallet, a phone that isn’t yours, a missed opportunity to crush bathroom potpourri in your fists and sprinkle it generously in your hair so you smell like Bloomingdales)?

6. “I swear they changed something in this lobby.”

You’re a wearied traveler, a seasoned building-enterer-and-exiter. You enter buildings all the time, but especially this one, which you are now entering for the first time in many, many years. You have history here, though those memories now belong to another lifetime. Wasn’t there a trio of urns in that corner? So much natural light — so glad they finally opened up the space a bit. You are an ephemeral presence in an ephemeral world, someone who might be here to pay respects to a deceased relative, have coffee with an old flame, collaborate with one of the artists in the studio upstairs — even if you were here to use the bathroom, you wouldn’t need to ask for directions. You know the way. You feel it in your bones and bladder.