Stage fright

by Nic Olson

Who designed the majority of public washrooms in the world? It was either men with no shame, women, the blind, or someone with a huge johnson.

The urinals in my school are of the older variety. The full length ones that go from your belly button all the way down to your feet. Urinal engineers seemed to have changed to the shorter ones once they realized you are basically peeing on your feet directly with the full length ones, instead of having just medium quantities of pee splashback like in the urinals of today. The urinals are self flushing, the version before the motion sensors, where a large basin above all five urinals will rinse them out every ten minutes or so. Each urinal is spaced about 3 inches apart from each other, and with the flat outer part of the frame of the urinal, there may be 6 inches. When the breaktime bell rings at least ten percent of the 250 students in the school go to the only bathroom and release their morning coffees. Each time I go, three of the five urinals are being used, leaving the two even numbered urinals open. Shoulder to shoulder I force my way in between two men peeing, whip it out, and go for it all.

Even if I am standing beside a complete stranger, my Phillipino friend Tito from class, my brother, or the Dalai Lama. Even if my bladder is full to the brim of the litre of water I drank in one hour, even if I close my eyes, take a deep breath, think of all that is good and holy in the world, I can’t pee. Stage fright. Even if I look at the ceiling, look down, stare at one spot on the wall in front of me(I still remember the design in the paint and brick at my old elementary school at the urinal, where the paint created a close-eyed smiley face), or push with all my might. Even if I hide myself between both hands, behind my unzipped pants, angled towards the corner if that is an option, hide it with books, step back a foot and let it out for all to see, let a few drops out prematurely on my way to the stage, if I am standing next to someone, unless there is a barrier between us, the once pleading liquids become drier than the undersack of a camel.

Maybe it doesn’t have to do with size (I’ve learned to accept that), or being shy (I’ve learned to get over that), or prostate problems (I need to check on that), but I think it is simply a subconscious block where I don’t want to let someone watch me pee on porcelain. Porcelain is meant for the faces of dolls or for serving your food upon. If I am going to desecrate something made of porcelain, I’d prefer to do it alone. It is like peeing in a porcelain mug and serving it to friends. Add some colour, caffeine and sweetener and you’ve got the morning drink of millions of Canadians. So what am I so afraid of?

My goal today for school is not to learn more verbs, or fully understand when to use imparfait, or even get better in my speaking, but it is to pee with conviction, determination and power in front of dozens of men, all over an expensive porcelain urinal. I believe.