I could go a week without showering. My parents weren’t home enough to force that habit on me. When I was younger, they’d bathe me in hot water. Boiling hot. I’ve only used cold water to shower for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t as though the cold water was preferable to me, it wasn’t, it was freezing and sometimes it even hurt. It was because I felt like I couldn’t trust warm water from the shower head. Warm was closer to hot than cold was, which I considered to be the warning temperature of the water that I’d bail the shower from. If it was warm, it could switch into scalding and hit me before I could escape. So I safely used cold water instead. I easily went a week without showering.
I turned on the cold shower one evening. Unbuckled my belt and my size 34 khaki uniform pants fell straight down. I had stopped wearing underwear because there wasn’t any danger of uninvited hard-ons in gym class anymore. I pinched my socks off with the toes of on the other foot and took off my white uniform polo shirt, knit-vest with it. (The vest was optional, but made my tits less noticeable.) I soaped my body, arms, shoulders, pits, the whole belly, ass, flanks, and feet. I rinsed in quick circles while squirting shampoo onto my hair, then rubbed my whole scalp into a bubbly foam, then rinsed that too, before I shut off the water. The process took no more than 7 minutes, (I timed it several times with the watch my dad gave me.) and always watched the dirty water and the bubbles escape into the drain. I was freezing but I always wanted to watch that filth escape before I grabbed my warm towel. During the shower I took that evening, was when I noticed it. Protruding an inch and a half, squiggly, thick, dark brown; my first pubic hair. But all I thought was, “what the fuck is that!?”
Forgetting to dry-off, I quickly struggled my dirty clothes back onto my body in a wave of anxiousness. Suddenly, I started taking off my clothes again. I had no idea what it was, or why it was on my body. I sat on the toilet seat cover and examined the pubic hair. I didn’t know what a pubic hair was because I had missed the Sex Education class in the 7th grade, nor did I receive the talk from either of my parents. The hair looked like a terrifying mystery, pointing outward and off-centered from that flabby fat area of skin next to and above my dick and below my belly. It was a hair that grew an inch and a half without being noticed. My belly hid my dick from view usually, and my sad sight of a body, deterred me from looking into full-body mirrors. I didn’t beat off very often, just when I had my mother’s Victoria’s Secret catalog, but besides that I didn’t think anything exciting could happen down there.
I was scared. I didn’t know who to go to about it either. I decided remove it. I looped my finger around it, inhaled and exhaled a few times, held my breath and yanked the fucker out. It stung. Bad. My eyes watered, but not a single peep escaped through my gate of clenched teeth. I flushed that thing away like it was my shit. I searched the area around my dick for any stragglers. All clear. Everything was normal again. I dried off, put my dirty clothes back on and left the bathroom. I didn’t understand how anyone could enjoy a damn shower.