To say that the visitors’ locker room was a shithole would be paying it too high a compliment. The cracked cement floor was painted a depressing gray. Rusted metal lockers that you could sort of tell had once been robin’s egg blue lined three of the walls. Near the lockers were heavily lacquered wooden benches where you sat to tie your shoes. And behind those benches, right out in the open, with no walls or doors to conceal them, sat three toilets.
We were captivated by those naked toilets. Taking turns, we approached them in groups and found them disappointingly normal, complete with clumps of soiled toilet paper clogging the drain holes, dried piss drops on the rim, and a floating turd in the one on the left.
A few brave souls (Davies was one of them) contributed their own urine to the mess and were cheered loudly for doing so. No one dared sit down, though.
It was at this point that I felt the first faint stirrings in my abdomen. It had been a long bus ride and I really should have thought ahead and addressed any potential problem before climbing aboard. I was about to rue my lack of preventive action.
My condition quickly deteriorated. I probably exacerbated it by thinking about what I was going to have to do. There was no way I was going to be able to avoid those exposed toilets. I sat on one of the wooden benches and bent over, my head between my knees. I took deep breaths and kept glancing at the toilets, hoping against hope that walls and doors might somehow magically materialize.
As usual, my teammates ignored me and changed into their uniforms. I prayed I could hold off until they took the court for warm-ups. As more and more of them exited, I began to feel better. It was going to be disgusting to sit on one of those commodes, but at least I wouldn’t be witnessed by my older and more physically mature teammates.
Finally, the last of them left. I was alone. There was no time to spare. I dashed to the middle toilet while unbuckling my belt. I yanked down my khaki pants and sat. No sooner had my bare ass touched down on the cold and sticky seat did it explode. Shrapnel burst forth and sprayed the inside of the bowl and my whole body shivered in response. The force of the blow was such that I involuntarily closed my eyes, like when you sneeze, and when I opened them again, Tyler Prescott was standing with his mouth open across the locker room.
“Aw, gross!” he yelled. He spun out of there shouting, “Finley shit! Finley shit!”
There followed a stampede of upperclassmen, all eager to see the spectacle for themselves. I was wiping when they stormed into the room. They kept a respectful distance and gaped.
“Sick,” someone said.
“That’s so nasty,” said another.
“Goddamn, Finley,” a third teammate chimed in. They had finally recognized my presence and they were awed. Also repulsed.
Coach saved me, or so I thought at first. His deep voice boomed ahead of him. “Let’s go, guys! What are we doing? We’ve got a game to play!”
My teammates hustled out and I stood to hike up my pants. I guess Coach wanted to make sure everyone had cleared the locker room, because as I gripped the top of my khakis, he cleared his throat. Instantly, I straightened.
Coach's eyes flashed to my groin and then just as fast snapped back to my face. He looked embarrassed and I thought I knew why. Male teachers and coaches have to be careful in locker rooms, and I’d just caught him checking out my junk. But as it turned out, I misread his embarrassment.
“Well, you’re only a freshman, Patterson,” he said. “Don’t worry, you’ve probably still got
some growing to do.” Then he gave me an abrupt, businesslike nod, spun on his loafers, and took