I peed before I ever spoke.
I make this statement not because it is unusual—it is not—but because it is indicative of an eternal human condition that is, by my estimate, insufficiently acknowledged: we urinate in great quantity and with great frequency. In the course of my life so far, I have produced and encountered many kilolitres of piss, and each drop has left a stain.
Below are twelve 25-word eulogies of myself, which combined compose a Rafael Abrahams of urine—an incomplete sculpture, perhaps, but no more liquid than any memorial can be. We like to reconstruct dead selves out of their words and belongings, in obituaries and exhibits. Below, I present a pungent alternative.
• • •
Tired, lazy, Rafi sat down on a toilet, half erect, for a piss, and accidentally squirted his stream through the sliver between seat and bowl.
The Boondocks aired a cartoon parody of R. Kelly’s trial for alleged pedophilic misconduct; this marked Rafi’s first exposure to both R. Kelly and urolagnia.
Seeking amusement, Rafi visited Princeton for a summer production of Urinetown; the urine delivered, but Rafi was more greatly titillated by the live boob grab.
A cup of Rafi’s urine sat on the pediatrician’s counter, a colored strip laid over the top; he never learned which pigments indicate good health.
Rafi attempted to pee in the ocean but his potty training was too rigorously ingrained; his urethral sphincter fastened too tightly shut when in public.
In fifth grade, during afternoon prayers, Rafi needed to go, and he requested permission from his rabbi to leave; rabbi denied; Rafi went on himself.
At a club in Israel, Rafi learned the meaning of crossing swords: is to share a toilet with another man when lavatory lines are lengthy.
There is an anatomical pleasure to be enjoyed in withholding urination midstream and releasing again; Rafi alighted his spine thusly occasional mornings, a caffeine alternative.
Rafi was told that upon his circumcision, he urinated on the mohel; the truth of this, he never knew, but many others possess similar stories.
“I’m shittin’ on ni**as and peein’ on the seat,” Big Boi crooned in Rafi’s ear on occasion; Rafi grew inspired to wax assertive and grotesque.
Rafi refused asparagus and was reminded, “But it makes your pee smell funny!” like that claim might have persuaded him to stomach its despised flavor.
“Do you pee when you die?” Rafi inquired Google; you do, and cannot splash water from the tap onto your pants to simulate washbasin mishap.