A Coming of Age
Josh started pooping in his mother’s bathroom because he liked the way the fuzzy white rug on the floor felt on his feet as he sat and bobbed and squeezed and thought. The tops of Josh’s thighs had begun to spill over and expand like meat filled balloons when he sat down, and the short dark hairs that covered his legs had now crept their way up to just below his waist. Josh liked to draw circles in this baby leg fur as he sat and curled his toes around the rug’s fibers, causing an occasional thread to get trapped underneath his toenails. While he sat on his throne he would occasionally flip through the stack of New Yorkers that rested on the corner of the bathtub in hopes that he might find a cartoon he liked. Mostly though, Josh liked to look at his reflection in the oval mirror above the sink. This, however, was only possible when Josh stood up causing his thigh meat to be redistributed downward with gravity’s help. So Josh began wiping while he stood so that he could both see his naked body in privacy and observe the takeover of hair.
Josh had started to hate taking his clothes off in the twin room he shared with his younger brother, Dylan. He could feel the cutouts of the Colorado Rockies, racing cars, and dinosaurs that plastered the walls looking at his body. He was quite certain at this point that he would never be a Colorado Rockie, or a racecar driver, or even encounter a dinosaur, but still, he felt judged. In the bathroom, standing up and wiping, Josh could stop sucking in his stomach and let his belly go so that when he looked down, the small cluster of pubic hair that had emerged over the past few months vanished entirely from sight. In his mother’s bathroom with the door locked and his pants and underwear around his ankles, craning his neck to view more of his pink body in the mirror, Josh had privacy. In the bathroom, Josh was alone.
By the time mid-summer hit and the dry taste of air-conditioning made its way into the Brodson family’s refrigerator so that the organic meats, farm-grown produce and artisanal spreads reeked of stale, artificial air, Josh started memorizing his haftorah section while sitting on the white porcelain throne. Susan Brodson would often hear her older boy stuttering through a verse then falling silent, indicating a lag in his memory, before his voice echoed back under the door and he continued the dialogue with himself.
“Bar’chu et adonai hamvorach,” Josh sang out from the bathroom in his high pitched voice that only recently had begun to crack when he attempted to hit the higher notes.
“That’s good honey. Way to go,” Susan yelled over her shoulder as she perched in front of the vanity straightening her long black curls. Everyday she noticed another patch of gray invading the hair once so dark she was forced to take Advil whenever it was sunny because the heat it absorbed gave her terrible headaches.
“What?” Josh yelled back from behind the closed bathroom door.
Susan looked down at the worn hair-straightener that had vanquished her curls everyday for the last five years and whose blue plastic coat was starting to peel off in places. As Susan absentmindedly hummed and buzzed through her morning routine, she stared into her brown eyes in the vanity, but could only focus on the premature crow’s feet that were now permanently etched into the side of her face like the shapes her youngest son Dylan drew in the sandbox in the family’s backyard.
“Shit,” she cursed under her breath as the smell of burnt hair brought her back into the room. She unclenched the straightener from the patch of singed hair and squinched her nose at the smell. At this very moment, Susan heard the toilet flush signaling that Josh was about emerge from the bathroom that her husband, Bruce, had insisted she take to herself when they first moved in. She quickly touched the lightly burnt patch of hair before planting a smile on her face and turning to face the large four-poster bed and white door.
“Hi mama,” Josh said biting the corner of his mouth and narrowing his eyes ever so slightly as he emerged from the bathroom. He wasn’t quite sure how his mother felt about his newfound tradition of using her pristine room to undress, ogle at his body, and defile the sanctity of the room with his manly turds. Josh sniffed the air and wrinkled his nose at the odd burning smell. Again, in attempts not to upset his mother, he kept quiet.
“Joshy, I need you to go find your brother and tell him that we’re leaving in twenty minutes, ok?” Susan asked as she struggled to squeeze a large orange earring through the cartilage on her ears she got pierced when she was high at sixteen, playing hooky from school. She remembered sitting at the kitchen table eating a bowl of ice cream with marshmallows, peanut butter and Life cereal that evening when her father walked in the front door from work. She remembered him squeezing her shoulders before walking over to the yellow seventies refrigerator where he grabbed the milk and poured his clearly stoned daughter a large glass to help wash down the sugary mess. For a brief second, the grownup Susan wished she had never given up pot. Josh made his way over to his mother who was staring at her reflection in the large mirror that hung on his parent’s closet door opposite their bed while she continued to fidget with her earrings.
“Does he have to come with? He’s just going to whine like a baby, I know it. He’s going to whine like a baby,” Josh moaned as he wrapped his arms around his mother’s waist and buried his short matted black hair into her back effectively blocking out the world.
“Yes Josh, please go get him,” She replied in a distorted voice as she patted her son’s head for a brief moment before pushing him off of her.
“Fine,” Josh squealed back in the voice he used to try and get his way, the same one his father used to talk on the phone in the car. When Bruce Brodson would announce to the family that it was time for him to jump on a call, Josh and his mother and brother would fall silent as his father would spit and argue and curse with the men on the opposite line in fast Russian. When the call ended, Bruce would declare that he had closed yet another deal, causing Susan to shriek in delight and plant a kiss on his scruffy cheek as he navigated the winding streets of Denver. Josh never understood what kind of deals his father was making, or why the yelling and cursing ended in celebration. He would later learn that it was just the nature of the Russian language that made it sound like his father was accusing his associates of dropping a large metal object on his foot.
“Do not talk to me in that tone, young man.” Susan frowned, causing the wrinkles around her mouth to deepen before she added, “Now go get your brother or suffer the consequences!”
“Empty threat,” Josh sang back as he hustled out of the room, leaving behind the scent of ripe boy and warmth that now mixed in with the sulfurous smell of torched hair.
“What a little shit,” Susan said to herself in the mirror smiling and shaking her head. She pulled out her phone and scrolled down her “favorites” list: Bruce Cell, Bruce Work, Mom and Dad Home, Home, Josh Cell, Susie Cell, before she clicked on the final name and waited for her friend from high school to pick up the phone.
“Susie, it’s Suze,” Susan said into the phone held in-between her shoulder and ear as she scrambled to put on both of her black clogs, nearly falling over in the process. She then quickly added in a hushed tone, so that if Dylan happened to be lying on his stomach outside of her bedroom door pushing himself back and forth on the shiny glazed wood, he wouldn’t hear her say, “Know where I can get any pot?”
Joshua Brodson couldn’t come out of the changing room.
“Get out here, Joshy,” his dad Bruce called from the lacy white waiting room at the upper end suit shop. Bruce had driven the family out to the “nice” part of a suburb from the city to the area where his office sat perched among this tailor shop, realty firms, chain restaurants, and doctors’ offices, each of which undoubtedly sponsored a little league team.
“One second,” Josh screamed back through the changing room door behind which he stood completely naked from the waist down in front of the three way mirror, causing his father to bury his face in his large hand and his mother to anxiously glance around and make sure no one of importance heard.
He couldn’t stop looking at his body and he felt himself getting hot with nervousness. The meaty flesh that protruded from his sides like little dumplings stuck to the edge of a bowl were embarrassing for Josh. None of the other kids in his class had the rolls that Josh saw in the mirror the second he took his dress shirt off, so that he was now fully nude. Every Friday, Josh’s entire twenty-person seventh grade class walked eight blocks to the local YWCA where they had swim lessons for an hour and then got half an hour to splash the heavily chlorinated water at each other. While Josh splashed around, the braver and more physically mature boys groped and squeezed and slid their slippery bodies over the giggling girls whose two piece bathing suit tops would occasionally fall down, causing them to go red in the face and huddle around each other, shielding their budding breasts from the boys. Josh hated Fridays in general, and after putting on his black swimsuit that dropped down below his knees he would run as fast as he could into the swimming pool, covering his bouncing stomach with one hand and his jiggling pectorals with the other.
But the reason Josh couldn’t leave the dressing room — on whose door Dylan, was now knocking on aggressively — was because Josh wasn’t quite sure what to do about the erection that now stared back at him from the three sided mirror.
“Come out, Bubba. Mom and Dad are mad,” Dylan pleaded to his older brother through the white wooden slits that paneled the dressing room door. He shook the metal handle aggressively but it wouldn’t budge. Meanwhile on the other side of the door Josh stood, red in the face, contemplating how to conceal the pesky pole protruding from his waist. Completely naked and embarrassed, he was at a loss as to how he had become so suddenly aroused. The only other times he had felt this ashamed of himself were during swim class, but picturing the girls jumping up and down in the water only made his situation worse.
“Crap,” he thought to himself and he glanced around the room trying to think of a way to calm his beast.
“Bubba, come on,” Dylan said from the other side of the door as he continued to shake and jump from one foot to the other causing his shoulder length straight brown hair that both embarrassed his older brother and was a source of envy for Josh who’s own dark thick hair would only ‘fro if went more than two months without cutting it.
“Shut up, Dylan,” Josh hissed as he paced the small confines of the dressing room still naked and still erect before pausing to realize what he had just said. In the Brodson family there was no word that carried more negative weight with it than “shut up.” When Josh was seven, his best friend Harry whispered “fuck” to him one day on the playground and the two boys snickered at the hard sound it made when it came out of their mouths. Later that evening, Josh, wanting to try out the word to see the reaction it would get from his parents, intentionally dropped his violin in the middle of a screeching rendition of Suzuki’s “Lightly Row.” After Josh said the word that had been on his mind since being let in from recess, Bruce who had been scrolling through work emails on his Palm Pilot while swirling a glass of red wine in his hand, immediately looked up, his face darker than the drink he had been sipping away at and sent Josh up to his room.
“Shut up”, however, was a completely different story. When Harry had told Josh to shut up during a game of wall ball, a moment of turbulence in the boys’ friendship, Josh was unsure how to process the attack and decided to internalize it and deal with it later. That night while a four-year-old Dylan lisped at the dinner table about his day with Grandma at the zoo, a monologue that both Brodson parents found to be quite cute, full of words like “Zebwa” and “Giwaffe” and “Gwandma”, Josh looked up from his cage-free rosemary chicken and mashed potatoes to command his brother to “Shut up” for no good reason at all.
“Ahhh,” Susan Brodson inhaled sharply before dropping her fork and knife on the plate below. Dylan burst into tears immediately and screamed at the top of his lungs, alarming Bruce and causing Susan to jump out of her chair to comfort her younger boy.
“Joshua Brodson, what did you just say?” Bruce inquired of his son with so much fury in it that Josh could smell the anger on his father’s breath.
“Nothing, I swear,” the seven-year-old Josh had replied sheepishly with tears suddenly swelling in his eyes.
“Young man, when you tell someone to shut up you take away their voice. You disenfranchise them. Do you know what that means?” Bruce asked rhetorically through a voice so sharp it could cut through rock before adding “I want you to go up to your room and write everyone at this table a letter explaining what you’ve done and how you plan to remedy your actions.” At which point Josh leapt up from his chair and ran up to his room where he rolled up in a ball and tried to block the yelling and crying of his little brother coming from the floor below out of his head.
Now, still standing naked with a full erection and having just told his ten-year-old brother to shut up, Josh truly was at a loss for what to do.
“Dylan,” he hissed to his brother pressing himself up against the changing room door. Josh could picture the tears welling up in his brother’s eyes, his bottom lip quivering in emotional frustration and anger. Dylan always did have very large feelings. “Dylan,” Josh pleaded again as the handle stopped shaking and he could feel the stillness on the other side of the door. This was his chance. “Dylan, I’ll do anything if you don’t tell mom and dad. Please Dyl, I’ll do anything. I swear just don’t tell,” Josh begged of his younger brother. Dylan deciding to seize the opportunity, sucked in his bottom lip and wiped the tears away from his cheeks.
“I want you to call me, Joe,” Dylan whispered into the vented wooded slits of the door.
“Wait… what?” Josh asked his younger brother, completely bewildered at the request that he was sure had been on his brother’s mind for quite some time if this was his means of leverage.
“You heard me, just like Uncle Joe!” Dylan insisted in a plain tone indicating that he was serious. Susan Brodson’s older and only brother who lived in Kentucky with his Hungarian wife was somewhat of an anomaly. Joe had had a falling out with his mother years ago and now only snuck into Denver for the occasional weekend to shower his sister with anxiety and teach his nephews invaluable and premature life lessons. During his visits, Joe spent dinnertime ridiculing his wife’s thick accent and frustrating Bruce Brodson by letting an occasional ‘shit’ or ‘asshole’ escape during his triumphant tales of getting an extra vacation day from his “low life supervisor” or finally plucking up the courage to accuse Phyllis in accounting of stealing his lasagna out of the refrigerator. The Brodson boys’ uncle was a fat man and Josh feared every time he came to town that when the two went head to head in an race to see who could finish his ice cream the fastest, that one day Josh might suffer the same flabby fate. So when his younger brother expressed a desire to be associated with the man who affectionately referred to himself as “Uncle Jizz,” Josh decided not to question and agreed to refer to Dylan as Joe from now.
“Fine, fine. You got it. Go tell Mom and Dad I’ll be right out,” Josh said in a hurried whisper.
“What’s my name?” Dylan asked with whimsy knowing that for the time being he held the power.
“Joe,” responded Josh, his eyes rolling behind the closed door. On the other side Dylan shuffled off towards the waiting room where Bruce and Susan Brodson were making their best attempt to present the suit tailor with the façade that they indeed were a normal family and that, yes, everything was surely fine with Josh, it just took him a bit longer to squeeze into his clothes than the average child.
On the other side of the door, Josh looked down with great relief to find his once throbbing member now resting silently against his leg. Josh quickly bent down to pull his underwear and dark suit pants up before buttoning the white dress shirt whose last button gripped his neck as tightly as his mother held the steering wheel of their car. Josh turned to take one last look at himself in the mirror before sucking in his stomach and walking out into the chaos of the waiting room where his father, mother, brother and the tall tailor, whose horn-rimmed glasses were the same shade of yellow as the measuring tape draped around his neck, stopped their raucous conversation full of large hand gestures and nervous touching.
“Joshy, what took you so long, buddy?” Bruce asked his son forcing a half laugh out of his lungs through clenched teeth and a plastered smiled.
“How does it fit? This is what size boys his age usually get isn’t it?” Susan Brodson asked of the tailor, re-stating what he had just confirmed while Josh had been in the changing room. Josh, who was about to express his discomfort with the shirts tightness, changed his mind after hearing this update.
“I think it fits fine,” Josh replied as enthusiastically as he could while being slightly choked. The tailor moved towards Josh and began examining him from head to toe.
“Right, we’ll have to loosen out the neck a little but I think overall it looks good, very chic and slimming,” the tailor said, clucking his tongue as he gripped the waist of Josh’s pants and tugged on them slightly. Josh was relieved that he would have more room to breathe but the friction of the pant’s soft silk lining being pulled against his crotch inexplicably began to trigger the arousing feelings he had standing in the changing room not a minute ago.
“Can we go?” Josh asked nervously of his parents.
“We’ll take it!” Bruce announced excitedly much to Josh’s surprise. Usually his father liked to weigh the positive and negative returns we would get from a purchase before committing. Bruce looked back at the tailor as Josh hurried off to put his shorts and tee-shirt back on and slip out of the hot confinements of his suit and added with a dull voice, “Bar Mitzvah is in two weeks, think you’ll have it ready?”
“Absolutely,” the tailor said nodding his head, “Absolutely.”
The Bar Mitzvah
Josh stood on the bimah of the synagogue and scanned the audience of his clean friends, wearing church clothes and pretending to be engaged while not-so-secretly squeezing each other’s knees and pinching each other’s flesh. In his full suit that now felt a bit more comfortable than when he had tried it on at the tailor’s, Josh looked out at his father’s business colleagues who were sure to tousle his hair after the service, ask him if he thought the Rockies were going to make the playoffs in a few months, hand him a check and excuse themselves to “wet their whistles.” Josh saw his mother’s friends from book club sitting together in a pack and gossiping in loud whispers about Rita’s divorce and how thin Susan looked in her heels, even though she was going a bit grey. After the Torah was put away for the week and Josh would finally be a Man, they would come up and give him wet kisses on each cheek and tell him how handsome he looked and how they were sure the girls couldn’t take their hands off of him.
The service started. Josh recited his prayers and began to read from the Torah section, which he now nearly knew from memory from an increased amount of time spent in his mother’s bathroom the past few weeks. As his big day grew closer and tensions ran high between his parents, Josh found the need to escape more and more necessary every day. Aunts and uncles and cousins and in-laws flooded the Brodson’s home, bringing with them platters of food and stories of years gone by. When Uncle Jizz showed up three days before he was expected, he slipped a thin, rolled-up Playboy magazine into Josh’s back pocket. Each time a new guest would arrive, Josh would entertain their questions about his preparedness for five minutes before excusing himself upstairs, where he would go to his mother’s bathroom and strip naked and chant prayers and squeeze his meaty sides and breathe. Now, at this most crucial part of the service, when he scanned the front row of the people most important to him, Josh was shocked to find that his mother wasn’t there.
Instead, Susan Brodson sat in the small one-person bathroom the synagogue had thoughtfully installed directly across the hall from the sanctuary for nervous brides. The anxiety she had felt throughout most of the preceding weeks had finally come to a head. Standing next to Josh during the traditional parents’ aliyah, lungs tightening, world spinning, Susan knew she had to act. So, when the Rabbi excused them to go to their seats before calling Josh to read the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah, she paused on the bimah steps to make sure he got the blessing right, then, rather than turning left to go back to her seat, went right and quietly headed out the door of the sanctuary to sneak into the bathroom, pausing briefly to retrieve the large purse she had left in the adjacent bride’s room before the start of the service.
Alone in the bathroom, free from the noise and punishment of the world, Susan Brodson reached into her purse, part fashion accessory, part emergency supply-kit, and pulled out one of her Xanax child-proof prescription pill bottles whose contents had been emptied and filled with two medium-sized nuggets of marijuana. When her friend Susie wasn’t able to supply her with the name of anyone who could sell her a dime-bag, Susan was forced to ask for help from the man who had first exposed her to the substance that made her Art History major much more enjoyable, her older brother Joe. Joe was thrilled when Susan called him a week before his imminent trip home with this special request. When Joe arrived at the Brodsons’, panting and sweating from the walk up the driveway, Susan immediately ushered him up the stairs before he had time to greet his nephews. Joe slipped his sister the zip-lock bag he had picked up from his old college roommate on the way into the city from the airport, winked at her and declared its contents to be “my treat.”
Now as Susan sat on the seat of the toilet she realized she didn’t have any way to smoke the drug. She had been paranoid the Rabbi would smell pot on her when he had greeted the family earlier that morning, so she had balked from her original plan to do just a small bowl at home before coming to services. Searching around her large brown purse frantically, her hands grabbed a waxy tube and pulled. Out came a Playboy magazine she had taken from Josh’s room just the other day.
“Fuck,” she muttered under her breath. Susan was aware that boys Josh’s age began to develop certain urges, but she didn’t want her son overexposed just quite yet. She remembered shoving the magazine into her purse to avoid having one of the visiting relatives see it and then had completely forgotten about it. Without another alternative, Susan pulled out the subscription card, threw the magazine on the ground, and with the same expertise she had had twenty years ago, rolled the now broken up weed into a stiff impromptu joint. Susan fished around in her purse a bit longer and was glad to find that somehow she had put the large red Coleman lighter stick Bruce used to light the grill on during the summer and the fireplace in the winter into her purse that morning. Susan Brodson lit the joint and held the savory smoke in her lungs. The constant influx of information and emotion that passed through her head at every moment slowed down and she closed her eyes for a second. She didn’t even feel the need to compare herself to the beautiful naked centerfold model starring up at her from the magazine below. Susan was ready to face her world, distracted from the hum that the high produced all throughout her body. She popped in a breath mint, sprayed herself with perfume twice and stealthily made her way back into the congregation where Josh was just about to start his haftorah.
The silk inside the pants that Josh Brodson wore tickled the hair on his leg as he unconsciously rubbed while reciting his haftorah portion. Halfway through he swallowed hard and his vision blurred. In the brief moment that it took him to find his spot, he quickly glanced up. He saw his Uncle Joe and Dylan with their heads together as if they were about to decide what kind defensive strategy would be best for the next play. He saw his father looking in his direction but clutching his Palm Pilot so tight in his hand that it looked like a tumor that could only be removed by complex surgery. He saw his mother staring intently at the large Jewish star painted on the ceiling and giggling to herself. He saw his friends whispering and laughing. He saw some people dozing and handful looking up at him, but during that brief moment, Josh realized that, although he had the spotlight, no one could really see him. On the bimah, in his silk-lined pants, Josh felt a surge of joy in knowing that he was alone.
But then, it started to happen, the all too familiar feeling. Like a match dropped in gasoline, the reaction in Josh’s pants behind the podium ignited instantly and the rush of blood to his genitals and face was so intense he was certain it could be spotted by everyone in the audience. Josh was sure that even his great aunt Nancy sitting in the back row, who wasn’t allowed to drive anymore because she had been hit so many times mistaking red mailboxes for stoplights, could spot the pole in his pants.
“What do I do?” Josh thought to himself. There was still so much of the service to get through. He rushed through the last section of his haftorah in hopes that it would take his mind off the untimely erection, but as his voice cracked the final few words into the microphone, his wish went unfulfilled. As the Rabbi approached the bimah to put away the Torah and give the final blessing, Josh stood rigid. After a brief congratulations and a shoulder squeeze from the esteemed head of the congregation it was time for Josh to take his seat amongst the disengaged and well-dressed masses of his life. He needed to think fast. Josh began pulling on his pants in hopes that he might be able to tuck it into the folds of the silk. This only served to further exacerbate the situation. Standing on the bimah in front of the people who drove him into his mother’s bathroom, Joshua Brodson was manually stimulating himself for the first time. His eyes rolled to the back of his head.
“And now I pronounce you a Bar Mitzvah! Today my son you are a man!” The great Rabbi announced to the congregation to a response of muffled coughs and the occasional emotional tear. Josh had to get out of there, he wasn’t sure what kind of visceral feelings he was experiencing, but he knew that whatever it was he didn’t want God or the entire congregation watching him.
“…and now we begin the conclusion of our service with the Aleynu. Joshua please take a seat,” the Rabbi said kindly for everyone to hear.
Josh had to act. With one hand balancing the kippah on his head that his grandma had just finished needlepointing two days ago, and with the other wedged in his pocket shoving his shame downward, Josh sprinted off the elevated bimah. As Josh streaked across the front row of the congregation, the people who he thought closest to him erupted in a storm of bodies and movement. He inhaled sharply through his nose as he passed his mother and noticed a different kind of burning smell than the one that usually lingered around her bathroom, but decided it wasn’t worth his time and made his way out the side door of the synagogue and into the single occupancy bridal bathroom.
“Where is he going?” Bruce asked of his wife sitting next to him loudly enough to inspire curiosity amongst the elderly relatives and to affirm to Josh’s Christian friends seated in the rows behind the family that this was not part of every Bar Mitzvah service.
“Hmmm,” Susan Brodson sang to herself as her head swayed back and forth and closed her eyes ever so slightly. She slipped her heels off and began rubbing her stocking covered feet across the sanctuary’s blue-carpeted floor. Dylan, seeing his mother take off her shoes, decided to follow suit and removed his shoes as well as his socks in order to demonstrate his originality to Uncle Jizz. Meanwhile, the pubescent boys in the back rows stood up in order to get a better view of what was happening in the front of the room.
“Jesus Christ, Susan. What’s gotten into you?” Bruce hissed to his wife who now had her feet elevated above the ground as she sat and slowly kicked her legs up and down.
“Oh Bruce,” Susan said softly before dreamily licking her lips and reaching into the big brown purse she had carried back into the service with her from the bathroom, hoping she might find a stray granola bar or clementine among her supplies. Finding none, she added, “Shit, no food.” The Rabbi, upon hearing this from his elevated perch above congregation, stopped giving his final blessing, buried his wrinkled head in his hands, and walked out of the sanctuary through the large front doors, much to the dismay of the regular Saturday worshipers who were not beginning to stir in their seats, visibly upset and anxious at the scene unfolding in front of them.
“What the fuck are you talking about? Are you stoned our something?” Bruce whispered into his wife’s ear, to which Susan just continued giggling and shook her head no. Susan’s laughter alerted her brother who had been tickling Dylan’s knees to distract him from chaos around them. Upon noticing his sister’s giggles, Joe assumed that Susan had put his timely Bar Mitzvah gift to good use.
“Hey Susan,” Joe yelled in his quietest indoor voice, “Did the stuff get you off?”
“Uncle Joe, what’s getting off?” Dylan asked with a puzzled look on his face as he searched between his mother’s glossy and his uncle’s beaming eyes looking for some kind of explanation.
“Getting off, Dylan,” Uncle Jizz chuckled more to himself than to anyone in particular, “Is what I assume Josh is doing right now.”
* * * * *
As Joshua Brodson sat and squeezed and moaned to himself silently in the bride’s bathroom, his eyes closed and shut away the chaotic outside world. The shouts and shuffles coming from the congregation in the next room were blocked out and Josh was all on his own, just like when he sat on the white porcelain seat in his mother’s bathroom. As the pleasure reached its precipice, Josh opened his eyes and looked down to the floor where he found the magazine his Uncle had brought him just days ago on the ground, flipped open to a fold out of a beautiful blonde naked woman. Josh now knew that his mother must have confiscated his magazine, but ignored this for the moment and focused at the task at hand. Starring into the models beautiful blue photographed eyes, Josh forgot about his thigh meat spilling over the seat, forgot about his brother’s long straight hair, escaped his body and sat in pleasure. With the final stroke sending him into a state of enlightenment that landed on the magazine below, Josh finally, truly felt as if he was on his way to becoming a man.