To my next-door neighbor

This motherfucker.

You know the one.

I hustle to the restroom to take the piss I should’ve taken three cups of sad office coffee ago — there’s one occupied stall, next door to the one I usually take. I know it’s kinda weird, but…

habit, creature of [ ˈhabət, ˈkrēCHər əv ]
n. (noun): me

So I go into my stall. I use it almost every day, it qualifies as my territory. I wedge my pants down my thighs, settle in, and wait for my bladder to let go.

And wait.

And wait.


Why is it so quiet in here? There is someone else here, right? I lean down and— yep, a pair of hesitant brown loafers, not three feet away.

So why isn’t my neighbor making any noise? They’re not even breathing. Are they waiting for me to start? Are they waiting for me to leave? Are they trying to get me to leave by making it tense and awkward? Who the hell do they think they are, pulling that passive-aggressive bullshit?

A motherfucker, that’s who.

Like I’m gonna let some motherfucker out-awkward me. Ha!

My waiting has a purpose now. My bladder is complaining but I’m determined to not spill the first drop — never give up! Never surrender!

I am the holding-it-in master! I’m gonna win! I —

My next-door neighbor lets out a small, quickly stifled pant, followed by a nearly silent groan.

My righteous rage vanishes. They aren’t passive-aggressively pee-shy. They’re having issues.

And they dearly want to have those issues alone.

I feel embarrassed on their behalf, and then on mine. Passive-aggressive pee-shyness? Really?

I clench down and get off the toilet, not even bothering with a flush — we both know I didn’t do anything, and flushing feels empty. A mockery.

I do wash my hands, though.

this motherfucker [ T͟His ˈməT͟Hərˌfəkər ]
n. (noun): also me

Sorry, next-door neighbor.

R.I.P. (Relieve In Peace)