He was chatty: ‘Are you from the United States? No? From Europe, aren’t you?’ I nodded.
‘I knew it because you are intact.’ ‘Intact?’ ‘Yes. Uncut. Uncircumcised. I am from the United States and I am circumcised. I envy you.’
Round the corner, at the end of a gravel path, past the signs warning:
“ATTENTION – BEYOND THIS POINT SWIM SUITS OR CLOTHING REQUIRED,”
a concrete construction, painted with pink and white stripes, hosted the local public facilities. The busy men’s room brought me back memories of George Michael’s adventures with members of the LAPD. Ominously idle butch men who at first appeared to be queuing for the cubicles stood with blank expressions on their faces. They would not even budge when the cubicles were vacated. The mirror at the end of the row of urinals was so grossly stained that it hampered not only my attempts to check the state of my hair after swimming in the ocean but also, no doubt, the opportunities for many of the patrons to strategically keep track of the movements and glances of the other patrons, especially those who stood in front of the urinal a lot longer than would normally be granted. The stares were intense. The air was full of threat and saturated with the stench of urine and faeces. I did wonder if there was any user good looking enough to be suspected of being an under-cover policeman but I was not in the mood to investigate. I washed my hands in a hurry at the filthy basin and walked towards the bus stop to return to South Beach.