Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Handkerchief

It's disgusting!

No, not the kid. The kid is adorable. What is disgusting is what people do when their hands are dirty, their face is sweaty and their kid has gotten himself into some sticky situation. It is disgusting when they clean up something dirty by just moving the germs around from person to person or from place to place. It is disgusting when they use one piece of tissue paper or cloth or anything one uses to clean up mess to cleanse more than one surface. It's as yucky as sharing glasses. It's as gross as sharing spit. It's as disgusting as sharing underwear. Really. 

So I was waiting for my parents at some mall and I had no way to kill minutes. My feet were too tired to walk around the whole mall for the nth time. All my friends were too busy to reply to my dumb text messages. I had no one to call on my phone because no one was picking up. I was also too lazy to park my butt on some chair in some restaurant and pay for my own meal just so that I could sit down. So I stood and leaned my back on a wall, realized that I looked like a girl waiting for a guy and made the most of the situation. And I was forced to do what I do best. I would like to call it taking notice of people. 

Taking notice of people does not mean going up to people I find interesting and making small talk with them. It does not mean being friendly or introducing myself. It does not mean winking back at the guy who winked at me after staring at me for approximately five minutes. It also does not mean yelling out my thoughts to random people who choose to irritate me. However, it does mean staring at people and making them feel uncomfortable. And then trying my best to take notice of certain mannerisms or actions or accents or anything I find totally odd about them. Taking notice may mean making up a story which may or may not be true about a person I spot. Taking notice of people is like stalking them in real life. 

How fortunate! A man leaned his back against the wall which was across me. He handed some money to his son who ran to a little kiosk to buy some ice cream in a cone. The man's wife left her shopping bags with him while she walked off to the women's bathroom. The man was obviously bored and was feeling warm as I could see sweat on his forehead.  He got his mobile phone out of the right pocket of his pants and then proceeded to let his hand search for something in his left pocket. Out of that left pocket of his came a dark blue handkerchief. The sweaty man then began to wipe his face with his handkerchief. I stopped staring at him for I found the act gross. But then, I just had to go back to taking notice of the man when his little son came running back to him with an ice cream in a cone in his hands. The ice cream was dripping onto the little boy's small hands. The man saw that, got his dark blue folded handkerchief, opened it up and made his son wipe his hands on the same handkerchief that just wiped the sweat off the man's face. 

I had to stop myself from yelling, 'What the hell are you doing?' The handkerchief already held the sweat of the man and now he was mixing it with some sticky melted ice cream. That was just utterly disgusting. You're mixing two different kinds of crap. And you're spreading germs around! Who knows what kind of germs the sweat has. And you're giving that to the little boy. I had to calm myself down and remind myself that whatever the man chose to do with his dark blue handkerchief was none of my business. But it was still disgusting.

The man's wife came out of the women's bathroom. Her hands were dripping wet. I assumed that she washed her hands and did not use the drier or the paper towels provided to dry her hands. Or maybe the drier was not working and there were no paper towels available. She was trying to shake off the excess water from her hands when her husband noticed what she was doing. Without thinking twice, he got out his dark blue handkerchief and handed it to her. She did not stop to ask if the handkerchief had been used already as she proceeded to dry her wet hands. And I stood there trying my best not to show any emotion on my face until my parents said that they were waiting for me at some restaurant. 

I walked away from the horrific scene to find my parents. And the whole day I went on and on about that horrendous encounter that my parents had to shut me up several times. As soon as I got my hands on my Mac, I messaged my friends and told them about my sickening observation. They had to force me to go to sleep as I would not stop talking about it. I could not fall asleep because I kept having nightmares that the maids were using a dirty cloth to wipe things. I have to look away each time I see a person with a handkerchief and I have to tell my brain to stop thinking about what that handkerchief has touched. And I am blogging about this because I am still not ever this incident. 

Yes, I am traumatized.