I've long wondered why men's restrooms are set up the way they are. Women have privacy, but we're expected to yank it out and take a whiz no matter who's around. It's always made me nervous. There's always this sick impulse to check the other guy's junk, but you look like a perv if you do that. Not that I'm embarrassed about what I'm packing, far from it. I just don't particularly like to be stared at, especially with my fly down. Then there's the problem of where to look.
Do I look down at myself? That looks like I'm not sure I can take a piss without help. Do I stare at the wall? Then I look like I'm nervous or have something to hide. In a police station, I don't want to look furtive. I'm not gonna look at the piece of the guy next to me, so there aren't many choices left.
I chose to gaze at the flush valve. That's not so low that I seem perverted and not high enough to appear furtive. Glad I was done, I flushed, nodded politely and flashed a nervous smile as I went to the sink. I watched the other men casually in the mirror as I soaped my hands. Seconds later, I was soaked from waist to hips. Cold water sprayed me from the faucet, spattering the mirror, counter and floor.
"What the fuck?" My vocabulary choice was probably unfortunate due to where I was, but I couldn't help it.
The two cops were laughing. I was soaked and standing in a puddle, and the two duffers were laughing at me.
"Sorry, pal, we should've warned you," the guy on my right zipped up and walked to the sink.
I noticed he avoided the sink I was standing next to—dripping.
"Then why didn't you?"
"Didn't think about it. We all know not to use that sink. The work order's been in for three months."
"Give me a wrench, I'll fix it myself."
"You a plumber?"
"I apprenticed awhile when I was a teenager. I could fix that in five minutes."
"Wish we could oblige, it has to go through the city."
"Got a towel? My girlfriend is talking to Sergeant um...." I drew a blank. "Stacy," I bumbled to a finish.
"Lanier," Mr. Right finished for me.
"Oh, you part of that vandalism case?"
"Yeah, my girlfriend's property got hit."
One of the cops handed me a roll of paper towels. I started blotting the front of my jeans.
"I look like I had a serious bathroom accident," I fussed. "This is just great."
"We could find you some dry pants, maybe," the cop on my left suggested.
"Actually, my bag is in the car. We were out of town when we got the call. If you gentlemen will excuse me, I need to get my pants."
"I'll let Stacy know where you've gone," Mr. Left said.
Feeling like an idiot, not for the first time, I wandered outside, glad that I didn't meet anyone on my way out. Gabe and Chas were leaning against the Jeep sharing a cigarette.
I grabbed my pants out of the back seat and joined them. They examined my wet crotch with a smirk.
"Someone get too excited?" Gabe asked.
"The sink in the men's restroom attacked me. Don't use the center one. Gimme a hit?"
Gabe handed me the cigarette. "Sorry we have to share, it's my last one."
"God, that tastes good!" I moaned with almost sexual delight as I took another puff. "I was hoping it would taste like ass, then I wouldn't feel so shitty about giving it up."
"It's a Sobranie, of course it's good. I don't smoke anything else."
"I'll pay for them, if you'll get more. I'm dying for a real smoke."
"Calliope will have your balls in a sling if you start smoking again."
"One. I just want one. Then I'll give it up, I swear."
"I bet you said the same thing about sex a long time ago." Chas smirked, nudging me.
"Hell with that. I had one hit and couldn't wait for another."
Both men laughed, shaking their heads.
"Find out anything useful?"
"Yes, don't use the middle sink. I need to go change. These pants feel nasty and my balls are getting chilly."
"Oh, God forbid he get frostbite on his extremities!" Gabe said loudly enough to attract the attention of a couple police officers who had just walked out the door.
I recognized my bathroom pals and waved self-consciously with my dry jeans. They laughed all the way to their cars.
"Thanks. That helped." I punched Gabe hard on the arm. "Now they think I'm a gay man who can't control his own plumbing."
"They don't," Gabe replied. "They just think you're a useless twit."
"Thanks that makes me feel so much better."
© 2016 Dellani Oakes
Dellani Oakes is the author of 10 published novels and over 100 more which haven't been published yet. She's a Blog Talk Radio host on the Red River Radio Network. She's also former A.P. English teacher and journalist.