A few years back, my partner and I were visiting Brighton over Christmas.
We were having a meal in The Lion & Lobster, a busy corner pub situated on a backstreet on the opposite side of town from Brighton’s famous gay scene. The meal was good, as was the beer. Inevitably, after a few pints, I had to use the bathroom.
There were only two porcelain urinals in the Gents, both tucked into a very small alcove.
I was immediately struck by the management’s curious choice of décor. Each of the three walls that made up the alcove were covered in an assortment of mirrors in all shapes, sizes and styles. They filled the walls from just below waist height to the ceiling. It looked like the designer had raided every pound shop and thrift store in Brighton and Hove for mirrors.
As I stood there, simultaneously having a pee and admiring the eclectic collection, another customer entered and squeezed in at my side, awkwardly brushing elbows in the tight space.
He glanced around at the walls and immediately commented, “What’s with all the mirrors?!”
“I was just wondering the same,” I said. “I’ve never seen myself pee from so many different angles before,” then added with a cheeky wink, “or other people for that matter.”
The guy smirked uncomfortably and starred resolutely ahead.
I must have been feeling particularly emboldened by those two pints, as this wasn’t a gay venue, yet I still flattered him with, “And by the way, Not bad! Nothing to be ashamed of.”
The guy gave an uncomfortable laugh and exclaimed, “I’m laughing mate, but you know it’s with fear, right?”
“That’s alright,” I responded. “I’m blushing… and I can see it in all the mirrors.”
We exchanged pleasantries as we washed our hands then both left the gents toilets, chuckling as we returned to our respective partners. I bet his girlfriend didn’t let him out of her sight again.
You have got to admire a straight bloke who is comfortable enough to engage in banter with a gay guy during such a private moment. Although, I suppose it was Brighton.
I never did confess that the angle of the mirrors meant that I didn’t really see a thing. I didn’t want to disappoint him.