This guy stood facing the wall, like all guys do. Head forward, one hand holding his pants, the other steadying his penis. This is why I never park against the wall. During daylight, they wedge themselves in between parked cars. They spray down the rims and tires of BMWs and Audis. Sometimes they face the cars, pretending to have the keys in hand while getting their piss all over the door. Then they zip up and walk ten feet to the bus stop checking their phone.
Every time I pass that corner to the front door, I hold my breath. The custodian of my building hoses down the walls and pavement, but it makes no difference. For some reason, the stench somehow puts off an invisible “Piss Here” sign. Like dogs and trees. This is also where I saw the largest piece of shit in my life. I thought it must be from a Mastiff but something about it looked human.
That night, it was sometime past ten with only a few cars in the lot. The public parking attendant was getting ready to close. By the bus stop, a women in work uniform clutched onto her purse, a young couple giggled and kissed, and tired looking men with greasy faces all waited for their bus home. This guy I was talking about, stood under a beam of light from a lamp post, about twenty feet away, fidgeting with his belt. So as I was getting ready to get out of the car, I gave him some extra time to gather himself. When I thought I’d given him enough time, I looked back and he was facing my direction. It wasn’t his belt in his hand but his dick. His hands were still fidgeting.
I turned away not giving him the satisfaction of this exhibition. I imagined that’s what guys like him want. I pretended I didn’t see him. Pretended to talk on the phone while trying to reach my husband on the seventh floor. Three times with no luck. I didn’t move. I didn’t call or yell for help. I sat and waited till he finished.
Finally the guy tucked himself in and walked toward the bus. I watched him climb the steps and take a window seat somewhere in the middle. I turned away before he caught me.
I should feel violated, right? When my husband finally called back, I even tried to sound upset. But when I hung up, I felt nothing. Instead I wondered if I had already seen too much in my life. I gathered my shopping bags and walked past the lamp post, where a small pool of white fluid glistened in the spotlight.
At eleven years old, when I was walking home from elementary school, an old bearded man, in a red convertible, drove up asking about his lost puppy. When I took a step forward, he had no pants on. He just wanted to show me his wrinkled penis.
In Long Beach, a man jerked off his dealer for drugs. I watched the whole thing from my kitchen window. The man walked away with a dime bag.
Driving down Skid Row, I’ve seen a man defecate in his hand and hurl it into the street. The only other time I’ve seen something like this was at a zoo.
Once, while driving, I had to make an emergency stop to squat behind an alley. Because of a kidney infection, if I held my bladder too long, I’d black out behind the wheel.
Maybe we’re all the same. Just different illnesses. We’re all born into this old world that makes us sick. That drives us crazy. Whatever our reason, we’re only trying desperately to get it out of us.