Too shy, shy

“There’s nothing to see in here folks, nothing to see.” Sam is holding up my jacket stretched wide between his arms as if it were a curtain. I am on one side and every other man who walks through the bathroom door is on the other. His statement produces the opposite effect of its intention. Everyone who enters the restroom is acutely interested in what, exactly, is on the other side of that jacket. At one point I overhear a curious onlooker peeking over the jacket say “What, does he have a vagina?”


“Dammit, Sam” I whisper to myself. He told me this bathroom was private and refurbished. But it is an open bank of urinals with no partitions and immediately within full view to the entire bar when the door swings open.

“William, I’m serious, take a look at the bathroom. You’re not going to believe how beautiful it is.” That is what Sam said when we first entered the bar. If Sam knows anything about me, it is that I am as gullible as my bladder is shy. I walked into the restroom expecting the best but seeing the worst. The look of disgust on my face as I turn back around and walk out of the bathroom has Sam laughing so hard that he has to catch his breath.

Still laughing Sam says, “Ok, come on you pussy, let’s go in and I’ll cover for ya’.” Surprisingly, this statement makes sense to me. Surprising because I am again believing the friend that told me the “Eagle Bar” bathroom is the Taj Mahal of bathrooms. Not surprising because two gin and tonics ago my bladder reached capacity.

So I find myself standing in the spotlight like an actor trying to remember his lines backstage before the curtains are lifted. The urinal is my audience. Relieved, I remember my line.

I have always hated public restrooms. Why do women get complete privacy while men have to stand side by side while they expose themselves? This is why women go in groups. I think they sometimes go to the restroom and never do anything in their three foot by four foot room of privacy but chat and paint their nails, because they can. They are gloating.

I love it when bars or restaurants have single occupancy restrooms. The only time that a single occupancy bathroom does not work is on airplanes. Airlines are under the impression that paper is a suitable substance for bathroom walls and two feet by two feet is ample space to pull your pants down. If that were not intimidating enough the flight attendant is always sitting on the other side of the folding cardboard door listening intently for any embarrassing sounds. Would it kill her to tell the eighty year old man jiggling the damn bathroom handle that the red light above his withered grey head means that someone is in the bathroom closet concentrating?

On a recent flight home from San Francisco to Boston, my husband Paul was in the restroom before the plane took off. A woman in her fifties prepared to sit in the middle seat between me and Paul. “Oh, I am travelling with my husband, would you like my window seat?” I say. “I’d prefer the aisle seat.” She says and immediately plops her presumptive ass down in the aisle seat. I hate her. But then I exact my revenge. I will drink more water and soda than my bladder can handle and then trouble her each time I need to get up. I am writing this as she sits next to me. She is probably nosy too. Oh well, one more bottle of water down and now one more trip to the bathroom closet.

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