Hitting the Bowl, Missing the Point

At the Scissor Sisters show in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago, some guy spent the entire night trying to hook up in the men’s room.

urinalsAbout half a dozen friends of mine were there, and we were all drinking, so we all made frequent trips to the loo. He wasn’t in there every time, but without exception, each of us had some kind of story about this guy.

He stood a little too close.

He washed his hands a little too long.

He kept trying to catch my eye in the mirror.

He leaned over and watched me pee.

I never saw his face, but he looked like he might be a decent enough looking guy. He had nice broad shoulders. His t-shirt fit him well. He was probably in shape. But when one’s first encounter with someone is an unwelcome sideways glimpse of him yanking his crank, his looks becomes sort of irrelevant.

It reminded me of an experience I had at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam about 11 years ago. I ducked into a men’s room there for a quick pee. Among a row of maybe 10 unoccupied units, I chose a urinal one in from the end. Before I could start doing my business, the guy who walked in after me — we’ll call him Waldo, because all I remember about his appearance are red and white horizontal stripes — chose the one right next to mine. Not on the side of me with all the empty spots, mind you. No, he took the other side, the one in the corner, directly between me and the wall. And as I stood there trying to squeeze out a few drops, he unzipped and started stroking away.

I buttoned up and retreated without peeing.

This guy at the Scissor Sisters concert was just as overt and annoying and uncomfortable. You don’t want to engage him, but you can’t ignore him. You can’t stop, because, dammit, you have to pee. So you just stare directly forward. Concentrate on that little bee they print inside the basin as a target to minimize splash back, or try to chip away at the edges of the little pink toilet cake.

Mostly it made me sad. His being there all night long leads me to believe he was unsuccessful. But worse than that, he was missing a great show. And he was entirely missing the point. If Scissor Sisters have a message, it is to get the hell out of the closet. You want to meet someone? Try stepping away from the urinal, and take your hands off your dick. Stop lurking in clandestine dens of shame and ammonia. We’re not all going to prance and bounce through life like Jake Shears, but we can all live in just as much freedom and joy. And usually, it comes at less than the cost of a ticket.


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the untallied hours

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