Why men spend so much time in the bathroom.
Reservation for one?
Men have always sought a place to go, to get away from things; a makeshift refuge. A bolthole somewhere with no clocks and a – I’M BUSY DOING NOTHING sign. Where they can drop their shoulders, suck back at the air and blow it out in a great gust of “About fucking time. Peace. And. Quiet”.
Whether it’s a pokey little shed, an armchair in a greenhouse, a park bench in a graveyard or behind any door with a lock on it. There the world is put on pause, the batteries taken out of the remote and out comes his pipe, his gamble, his stash, his…whatever it is he likes to do that other people don’t like him doing…This is his polite way of saying “Let me be, I’m not hurting anybody here, I’m working on myself, my way”.
It’s all too easy to say these men are hiding from the world. No-one escapes anything by locking themselves in a room. That’s the opposite of escape. This is the soul initiating an intervention; it whispers all wise-like and says ‘if you don’t take some time buddy, you’ll soon run out of it. So, let the self-conservation begin and slide that bolt ”. Nature calls for a reason!
Marcus Aurelius- “For it is in your power to retire into yourself whenever you choose.”
Behind the bathroom door is where his meditative music is made. The sound of wind chimes and the intimate purrings of bodily functions at work. The comfort of release and the dumb-contented smile that comes from sitting in his own stink. Knowing that everything is in good working order. Perched right on top of the moment with his pants around his ankles. Staring at the bathroom tiles he gathers his thoughts or goes blank… He is vulnerable. He is cleansing. But he’s safe in the 3-ply knowledge that things are better out than in! Even the couch-surfer Freud was savvy to this.
Whatever is waiting for him on the other side of that door, can stay there until he’s done.
The flush is just an interlude in his self-maintenance. There’s a transformation taking place and it might not be pretty. Both jailer and the jailed, he’ll only set himself free when he’s served his time, after getting rid of dirt and finding salvation under the bathroom light.
Marking his territory.
He has claimed his space in the bathroom. Hung his underwear on a pole and planted it like a flag, slap bang in the middle of the room. His thread-bare banner flaps under the air of the extractor fan. There he stands proud of his paunch, flexing for no-one but himself- ‘still got it’. A true gentleman of leisure, on his own time, things will happen when they happen. No rush laddy – ‘Right where did I Ieave that nose-hair trimmer?’
Cut from a unique cloth he takes care of business undisturbed. Slinks into the tub like a cowboy before a gunfight. And forgets he ever had a worry as he submerges himself in hot, lavender flavoured bubbles. This man has returned to the primordial soup to simmer. Ready to emerge a towel-dried hero of sorts with knowledge of ‘what he needs to do’…
Holy shit! He’s back!
An hour has passed – the lock turns. The bathroom has served its purpose. It was home to his confessions. And those unbiased beige tiles he fitted last winter will keep his secrets safe. Now his steps are a little lighter. He has restored factory settings, restocked and is ready to pick up his torch again. The world looks a little brighter.
So next time you find yourself in need of finding yourself. Retreat to the GENTS. It’s inspirational.
Looking for some inspiration when you’re being inspired check out our Shaving for work series where we interview a swimmer a cyclist and a pornstar about shaving to improve performance. Or see our Skincare for men article if you’d like to use your solitary time to experiment with taking care of your skin.