We have been given the rather double-edged sword of peripheral vision. In certain situations a positive contribution to personal safety... In others, a window upon an uninvited and unwanted world. The latter explains my discomfort at a recent visit to a motorway services toilet facility.
Already at my business, I sensed and dismissed the arrival of someone to my left. In like fashion, the person on my right had moments before ignored my presence as I had appeared. These were busy, crowded urinals and we were all involved in the ritual of taking no notice of anyone or anything whatsoever except the state of grouting between tiles at direct eye level and pondering how soon someone might refill those plastic containers with cards offering details of erectile dysfunction remedy.
Good grief! Ruddy peripheral vision. There, try as I might to escape it, was the inescapable. Waving around next to me was a wang the size of a Sperm Whale's fluke. Colossal... Gigantic... Flapping. There was no need to seek help from a comparison site. I had to admit the unassailable fact that I was witnessing the unleashing of an organ which, according to one's bent (please, I thought, don't straighten up before I'm out of here), offered the prospect of eye-watering discomfort or painful delight. All this on display through eyes which were in no way directed at what they were seeing.
Look. Straight. Ahead. I knew that any hint of a sideways glance (Sideways... NOT downwards!) would be met by my pissing partner's eyes and his one raised eyebrow, arrogantly seeking confirmation that I'd never before been in a club which admitted such hugely impressive members.
I foolishly considered trying to cheerfully explain my own very temporary inadequacy with stories of a recent dip in freezing British seaside waters. But I calculated that the distance of every part of the M1 from our coastline would immediately undermine my feeble excuse. There was nothing for it but to admit defeat. I half expected that my neighbour would finish his work, thump out a triumphal rhythm on his chest and turn his back to reveal a swathe of silver hair.
Beginning to shake like a drip, I started to shake off my drips. A quick pull up of my zip and I would make my escape. Even if I had caught my shrinking apology for masculinity in the fastener, I believe I would have stifled any hint of a strangled shriek and marched out manfully with never a backward glance. A slide and a snick of metallic teeth passed without problem. I could tell that the person I was desperately trying to ignore had finished as well.
His tidying up ritual was of a different nature. No short, but careful, zip closure... He was fumbling slightly. No doubt the amount of prime fillet to be dealt was offering resistance. But he was done. And he was done with fastening his button fly. So how the hell could his bragging behemoth still be wafting around!
Ah, peripheral vision... Both a curse and a blessed relief. Of course, that belt of his was the first thing that had appeared in undefined view and the last thing to be identified as harmless and of no real threat to my silly 'manliness'. Yes, blessed relief... Still a very striking belt.
Oh, shit. All I have to cope with now is the fact that he's staring at me staring straight at his crotch... Shit.