Those who know me know I take friendships very seriously. For a friend, short of murdering someone, I'll do just about anything -- including urinating on his or her behalf.
I have a good friend who was trying to get on at a big corporation here in town. I'm not going to mention the friend's name or the corporation, because I don't want anybody to connect the dots. Let's just say this was a big opportunity for my buddy.
He or she got the job but before it could all be confirmed, my friend was required to take a drug test. He or she smokes a lot of weed.
I joke around sometimes on the Living Out Loud blog about smoking grass but the reality is I seldom do it at all anymore. My friend knew this and called me up wanting to know the last time I had smoked a joint.
I looked through my journal and discovered it had almost been a year since I smoked. This is exactly what he or she wanted to hear. He or she wanted me to pee for them.
Now I think drug testing is dead wrong, but we won't get into that here, and I'm not going to go into the details of how this "procedure" works. Frankly I didn't want to know. All I know is that if I did this, my friend could keep it warm somehow and pass it off as his or her own urine. Because this was my friend, I said yes.
The urinating was to happen early on a Friday morning. As usual, I had my two cups of coffee, knowing that this would certainly "make me go." I wanted for my friend to arrive. Around 7:30, my friend showed up with plastic cup in hand. We chatted for a bit, and then I took that plastic cup and went to the bathroom.
I stood in there for like 10 minutes. Nothing was happening. I couldn't go.
I went back into my study and explained the situation to my friend, who suggested I drink some water. Good idea.
After a couple glasses, I felt the need to return to the restroom, but still nothing was flowing.
I drank more water. Then more. I drank at least 10 glasses of water, and still nothing happening down there. I felt intimidated -- unable to go on command. I was also starting to feel bloated.
Finally, I felt something of an urge and went back into the bathroom. I managed to urinate just enough for my friend's cup. What was only to take up a few minutes of my time ended up taking over an hour.
My friend thanked me, and together we left my apartment -- my friend going to take his or her drug test and I to Ludlow Avenue to hop on a bus to get to my consulting job downtown.
While on the bus -- and with the pressure now off to perform -- I suddenly had to go to the bathroom.
The bus was crowded. I was standing up. To say the least, I was feeling a bit uncomfortable.
Some passengers got off, and I found a seat in the back. I crossed my legs.
Heading down Clifton Avenue, there was road construction going on, and the ride was bumpy. I was beginning to get worried.
I tried to think of other things -- work projects, a cover story I was working on, books I wanted to read, anything to get my mind off the fact that, if I didn't get to a restroom quick, I was going to wet my pants.
Finally the bus arrived at Eighth and Walnut -- my stop. I quickly got off the bus. On the corner, there's a Mexican restaurant that is open for breakfast. I ran as fast as I could to get inside.
"Where's the restroom?" I asked somebody. My back teeth were almost floating.
"We don't have public restrooms, sir," this somebody said to me.
"Get me a cup of coffee to go," I said as I saw the sign leading me to the restroom.
Within a matter of seconds, relief was on the way. I pissed like a racehorse.
Taking my time, wanting to make sure I was all flushed out, I finally left the restroom. The lady had my cup of coffee waiting on the counter. I gave her $2, walked out of the restaurant and threw the coffee in a trashcan.
For the rest of that morning and into the early afternoon, I had to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so. People at my consulting job were giving me funny looks, and I think to somebody I said I had drunk a lot of water early that morning. That sure the hell ain't no lie.
This all has a happy ending. My bladder returned to normal, and my friend got the job at that big corporation. He or she is climbing their corporate ladder and has found success. He or she thanks me over and over.
I did this all in the name of friendship. Would I do it again? Probably.
Larry Gross' book, Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Stories, is in bookstores now or can be ordered through Amazon.com.