Tuesday, January 18, 2011

COMMON GROUND "The Toilet Seat" - Part 3

Upon entering the bathroom, Miller was aware of his surroundings enough to be relieved that there was no one else in there. He didn’t have to wait for the stall; he could just proceed right inside and shut the door. Being pee-shy had its drawbacks. If there was a line of men waiting to urinate and he was in the front of the line he always felt a sense of embarrassment telling the person behind him that a urinal was available. He just couldn’t make himself urinate in front of other people. He thought it stemmed from an awkward experience during his childhood that involved his father and a church service, but as he’d never seen a therapist about it that was pure speculation.

The bathrooms had changed since Miller, Nicholas and Max had first discovered McKenna’s. The first time Miller had gone to the bathroom he was shocked to discover no lock on the door and no stall separating the urinal from the commode. He couldn’t pee fast enough. His heart was racing at the thought of someone coming into the bathroom. He knew he would cut off midstream if that happened. It didn’t; not that night anyway, and it wasn’t going to happen this night either because there was now a stall he could lock himself in and that’s where he was.

Miller turned to face the toilet. The margaritas and tequila shots and water had filled his bladder to capacity. He needed to pee badly, but he was suddenly stuck there looking at the toilet, contemplating. He put the seat down and looked at it. He wanted to sit. He started unbuttoning his jeans then remembered he was in the men’s room of a restaurant; a public establishment. He stopped unbuttoning and lifted the seat. He would just stand there and pee like a man. He went back to undoing his jeans. Then stopped again.

Talking out loud to himself he said, “I’m locked behind a stall door. What does it matter if I sit or stand? No one is in here and even if they were they don’t know if I’m taking a shit or just pissing.” He lowered the seat again. “I mean so what if I’m just pissing. Maybe I have to sit down because something is wrong with my legs or my penis or something that makes me have to sit to pee. You know people really shouldn’t judge each other based on what they don’t know or what they think they know.” He lifted the seat again.

While Miller was in the bathroom contemplating the hazards of being caught sitting down to pee, Nicholas and Max continued to talk.

“So, what’s the next step?” Nicholas asked. “Have you seen a lawyer?”

“I saw a billboard for a lawyer,” Max responded. He smiled the cute smile Nicholas had seen him use on a thousand women before. It was the smile that always got them to accept the drink he wanted to buy them or got them out of their panties. However, it didn’t work on Nicholas. He knew Max was a procrastinator and finding a lawyer was just another procrastination.

“Can you be serious,” Nicholas said as he took a drink of his water. It was almost laughable for any of them to try and be serious after that much tequila on an empty stomach, but he was going to try.

“Yes,” responded Max, every bit the scolded child.

“So, are we talking a No-fault divorce or Irreconcilable Differences or what?”
Max was watching Jillian cross the room. “I haven’t had sex in so long,” he said in a dreamy voice. He had his right elbow on the table with his chin firmly placed in his hand. His half-lidded eyes were the window to his brain, which was in some place of phantasmic ecstasy; add to that the sly smile parting his lips and he looked like Pepe Le Pew after he’s caught the pussy cat who always tries to get away.

Nicholas lowered his chin and raised his eyebrows as he watched Max watch Jillian. He then started to whistle, as if calling a dog and snapped his fingers in front of Max’s face. “Here boy. Come on back now. Put your tongue in your mouth before you drool on the table.”

Max begrudgingly let Jillian trail out of his sight and turned to look at Nicholas.

“That’s a good boy,” Nicholas said in the voice the millions of people use to talk to their dog.

“Hey,” Max responded, his irritation barely showing. “Honestly, I haven’t had sex with anyone but myself in 6 months, and the honeymoon is over. It’s not even exciting to use the left hand anymore.” Nicholas felt his face flush with heat as Max continued. “At this point I’m almost desperate enough to sleep with anybody.”

“You don’t mean that,” Nicholas shot back.

“Don’t bet on it,” Max said with the unmistakable tone of “don’t tempt me”. “With my beer goggles on even you look pretty good.”

“Huh,” Nicholas resounded flatly

“I need another drink,” said Max.

The words were barely out of his mouth when Jillian appeared with the three margaritas that Nicholas had motioned for earlier.

“Third round of margaritas boys. Enjoy!” Jillian walked away from their table with the eyes of Max following her hips.

“Where is Miller?” Nicholas said as he looked around the room.
“I don’t know, but my strict southern upbringing prohibits me from drinking until all the ladies are back at the table,” said Max with a matter-of-fact tone and face full of smirk that caught Nicholas off guard.

“Why are we friends?” said Nicholas as he rolled his eyes and nose laughed. “I’ll go check on Miller.”

Nicholas crossed the room to the bathroom. As he entered he could see Miller’s feet under the stall. He was momentarily stumped by the sound coming from inside of it. He then realized Miller was lifting the seat then lowering the seat. He reacted with the same eye roll and nose laugh he’d just given Max at the table.

“Hey OCD, just sit down.” Nicholas went to the urinal and proceeded to empty his own bladder.

Miller sat down and started to pee. “Oh thank God. I almost wet my pants.” His tone was grateful and relieved.

“Hurry up, Mill,” Nicholas said as he finished and flushed the urinal. “Max is alone at the table with 3 margaritas.”

Nicholas was drying his hands when Miller opened the stall door. Nicholas gave him a “bless your heart” look and pulled him out of the bathroom without giving him a chance to wash his hands. Miller’s face showed his concern for this action as he looked down at his hands then over his shoulder to the sink, but being more than slightly inebriated, he chose to go with the flow.

“Took you long enough,” said Max as they arrived back at the table. Nicholas did a quick scan to see that 3 full margarita glasses were still sitting there. “Did you wash your hands?” Max said with just the right amount of inflection in his voice so Miller would know he was joking.

“Did you have sex?” Nicholas was the one who resounded however with more than enough snark.


Miller’s ability to comprehend everything fully was clouded. “I didn’t wash my hands or have sex.”
Max raised his glass. “Shall we?”

“Have sex?” Miller looked at Max, his eyes narrowed in confusion causing him to wrinkle the space between them more than he would be happy to know he was doing it.

“Drink,” said Nicholas exasperated. He held his glass up the center of the table.

“Oh,” said Miller as he started to laugh and picked up his glass and toasted with his two best friends.

They each took a drink of their margarita. As they sat their glasses back on the table Max’s phone began to ring. He pulled it out of his pocket.

“It’s Meghan,” he said, his voice full of anxiety.

©2011 Michael Rohrer