Let me tell you about ‘Guy’.
His name is not actually Guy. At least, I don’t know if that is his name. You see I don’t know what his name is so in my head I nicknamed him Guy. I initially called him ‘Friendly Asian Guy’ but the departmental habit of shortening everything to acronyms is pervasive and I soon realised my mistake.
So ‘Guy’ it is.
Guy is a good guy. He is friendly, albeit overly so. Every time we pass each other he nods encouragingly, smiles broadly, and greets enthusiastically.
Whenever we happen to be in the same elevator together he engages in conversation well beyond the normal societal expectations for talking-with-acquaintances-in-close-proximity-for-under-a-minute.
Not only does he ask about my weekend but, when I offer some inane response in the hope of ending the conversation, he asks pointed follow up questions. It is almost as if he is actually interested in me, my life, and the boring details of my weekend.
And all I really want to do is ride the elevator in peace.
Guy also doesn’t respect the rule of silence within the male toilet. When I go to the toilet, I am there to do a job. I’m a man about business. I don’t care for distractions and idle chit chat. I cannot think of a worse time to start a conversation with someone than when they are standing, dick in hand, and facing a wall, urinating in to a small wall-mounted drain.
Guy, however, has other ideas. The toilet is one of his preferred locations to initiate a conversation, particularly around things as mind-numbing as the current weather or even asking if I’m about to head out to lunch. Not to join me, but just because it happens to be lunch time and he feels the need to fill all silences with his over-the-top friendliness, when all I really want to do is piss in peace.
Which is what caused last Friday’s incident.
It was 4:30pm and I was making my way out of the office, taking a well-designed early mark with the idea of getting me out of the CBD before peak hour traffic. My optimal strategy had it all timed out.
A quick stop in the toilet to point percy at the porcelain, elevator ride down to ground floor, taking the back exit from the building, a four minute walk to the bus stop (including waiting at traffic lights), and a spare two minutes at the bus stop as a safety net if hell freezes over and the bus actually comes early. This plan would see the express bus pick me up on its second-last stop in the CBD before shooting across town via the busway and getting me home just after 5pm.
All ruined by Guy, that incessantly friendly mother fucker.
As I walked outside the security door, bag on my shoulder, I headed to the toilets. The lift lobby was empty and I was beginning to get that weekend feeling, starting with a smile forming on my face.
Halfway across the lift lobby Guy popped out of the opposite security door, heading for the toilet. His eyes lit up at the sight of me, his eyebrows sharply rising in acknowledgement.
I did a quick mental calculation. If I continued on toward the toilet I would be trailing behind Guy by a mere two metres. Prime proximity for having an unwanted toilet conversation foisted upon me. I could see the two of us standing side-by-side at the urinal, meat members in hand, me staring unblinkingly straight ahead at the wall while he nattered on about his picnic plans for the weekend ahead.
We would probably finish our private actions at the same time, have an awkward moment of “no you go first” through the inner toilet door, wash hands side-by-side at the dual sinks , and do an even more awkward game of “please get out of my way so I can grab some fucking paper towel to dry my hands.”
Even more likely was that, now having shared the better part of two minutes and a rather private bodily function, the conversation would be extremely difficult to extract myself from in the speedy manner befitting my hasty escape from the office. We would loiter in the lift lobby – me desperately trying to wrap the conversation up and him banging on to me like we’re best friends. I don’t even know his real name for fucks sake!
No, I cant let that happen. I don’t need to go to the toilet that bad. I can hold it.
Instead I jab a finger at the lift button and wave goodbye to Guy. Feeling triumphant in my quick thinking I even venture a little joviality with a friendly call of “have a good weekend” as he disappears up the corridor to the toilet, alone.
A ding signals the arrival of the lift and I breathe a sigh of relief. I’m free and back on track for getting home early.
It is not until the bus is about halfway home that I realise I have made a terrible mistake. I have a searing stabbing pain in my abdomen, as if the devil himself is skewering me with his favourite sword. My bladder is about to burst.
I thought I would make it home but I wont. My urine is about to leave my body whether I like it or not.
I hit the bell on the bus and the driver pulls over at the next stop. I scramble off the bus, clutching my bag, desperately looking around for an appropriate place to relieve myself. I’m standing on the side of a busy 4-lane road in the middle of peak hour. Cars are whizzing by while I wish I was just whizzing.
On impulse, I duck up the next side street and head toward the nearest park desperately fighting back the primal urge building inside me and praying that it has a public toilet. It feels almost as if my bladder is watching the world through my eyes, assessing every thing in sight under the lens of “could I urinate there?”.
As I round the next corner the park comes in to sight and that is when I know that my bladder was watching. It knows the end is in sight and immediately starts relaxing in preparation for the tidal release that is forthcoming.
The problem is that my bladder has no concept of walking speed. It cannot judge that those toilets off in the distance, at the far end of the big open park I am crossing, are at least another 20 seconds away. The bladder, with its selfish laser-like focus on not exploding, only knows that there is a toilet shimmering in the distance like an oasis.
I don’t make it to the toilet.
Once the bladder releases its internal safety mechanisms there is no going back. I can almost feel the urine coursing through my urethra, bound by internal muscles and a healthy dose of gravity, to exit my body within the next few seconds.
I drop my bag, fumble awkwardly to unzip my fly, and turn to the nearest tree, spraying an absurd amount of urine everywhere. The tree trunk, the ground, and even my pants are spattered with splashback from the firehose-like spray I shot at the tree.
But I don’t care. The sheer relief outweighs any sense of shame or regret I feel.
As I stand there with my pants around my ankles, shaking the last few drops from my penis, I laugh to myself. My pants are wet and I will have to walk the rest of the way home. I will be late, sprayed with urine, and more than a little embarrassed.
But at least I didn’t have to talk to Guy again.