In terms of traumatic life experiences, my first time pissing in a urinal was way worse than losing my virginity: it lasted roughly 15 seconds longer and instead of having the relative privacy of my friend’s backyard, I was in the middle of a room of farting, belching men, some so drunk they were just pissing on their shoes.
“Get dressed, we’re going to a baseball game.”
I looked first at my dad, standing crooked in the doorway, and then at my mom.
“New York! Yankees game!
“Is mom coming?”
“No, just you and me.”
That’s the last thing I remember. Then it was the seventh inning stretch, and we both needed to piss–I remember, Dad said “piss” not “pee,” and didn’t ask if I needed to go so much as announced that “we should take a piss” and there we were, bladder-afflicted souls waiting in line to enter what I would discover to be the 3rd circle of hell–where infections and urine stench awaited those who had committed the sin of unholy micturation. In my case, I had been caught guiding my stream out of my bedroom window a few months before, my dick resting on the windowsill and my head craned forward in such intense study of that golden arch with such intensity that I noticed neither my mom’s mighty hand come swinging at my ear (in hindsight, not the best idea to hit someone in mid piss) nor the laugh of our teenage neighbor, warbling somewhere between highly amused and horrified.
From the bowels of this tiled inferno came the sounds of torture–yelling and grunting, and the hiss of faucets made demonic as they bounced off the concrete floor. The smells were not much better: urine, which I recognized, and vomit, which I would soon learn the smell of.
Us sinners stood shifting uncomfortably in line, both wishing the line moved faster, and in my case, that we didn’t have to go through this at all.
Finally, we entered, and I got my position at the urinal. I was standing on tiptoes, struggling to simultaneously balance and unzip my fly when a voice behind me shouted,
“Yo, tiny-dick! hurry up man!”
I knew he was talking to me, but I ignored him and continued to fumble, now with desperation.
“Yo! peanut! Hurry the FUCK up!”
Where was dad? Across the room, but now he was turning around and trying to hurry himself up. The guy started approaching me by way of the drunk walk, two steps forward and then a pause, step back, two steps forward, pause.
My Dad was approaching like a ton of bricks–or, given his short, pudgy stature, a solid wheelbarrow full of bricks. I was pissing now, half out of fear. So much for fight or flight. He approached and put one hand on my shoulder. He was drunk and he stumbled into me, he was surprised as I was. Still holding myself in terror, I leap-frogged back and to the side, he was leaning into me, but as I shifted, he slipped forward, falling flat on his face in the quarter inch of sticky film.
My Dad arrived just as he fell, and paused behind him as if contemplating a quick kick in the ribs. He looked at me standing there against the wall, crouched, breathing, and thought his time would be better unspent getting me to unclench my two little first from my junk.
We were out of there before the guy even had time to fully realize what had happened.
This wasn’t the last time I had trouble in a urinal–if it was too loud, crowded, or anarchic, like locker rooms filled with pubescent boys is. I’d use the stall or wait for it to clear out, but the finally nail in that coffin was put firmly in place when I was fourteen.
I had just entered high school. I was using one of the more out of the way bathrooms when two boys my age came in and–having mistaken my retainer case for a cellphone–pushed me foward against the urinal. One held me there while the other fished through my pockets, finding a couple pennies, my i.d. card, and my retainer case. Disappointed, they handed the stuff back to me, and ran out.
After that, I never peed at school. At home, I’d only pee if everyone else was downstairs. When I was in college, forget it. I felt I went whole weekends without using the bathroom for free of drunken people stumbling in for whatever they needed to do.
When I finally did have a one night stand, the most embarassing part was having to excuse myself to go home and use the bathroom. I couldn’t use hers. This lasted all the way through my twenties. Most of my girlfriends just laughed or quietly stored it away in case they needed ammunition if I was ever a jerk to them. It never varied: if I thought they could hear me, I couldn’t go.
Finally, though, I’m dating a girl, and I think it’s getting serious. I know because when I really need to go, I can sit and turn on the water and if I concentrate I can use the toilet. I’m getting better too. Maybe one day I’ll be able to piss with the door open like my Dad still does. It’ll piss her off, but then I’ll explain what a huge trust thing it is, and then she’ll appreciate it in a weird way. I’m getting there slowly, but progress.
Just as long as she doesn’t want to go to a Yankee game.