Chapter 2

Growing Interest

A few years go by and thankfully you don't have to read about every little thing that happened in the lives of Casey and I. Now remember, at this point, we still don't even know that each other exists. We've never met and won't meet for a number of years, specifically, until high school. We went to different elementary schools, and this is essentially why we don't know about each other yet. You might think that somehow we might have met in passing, and maybe we did. Maybe we saw one another at a state fair, the mall, a store, but never really talked to one another or spent more than 2 seconds interacting with each other. Of course, I do actually find out about Casey, in a very indirect way, way ahead of our first meeting. But that's for later. Casey doesn't even know I exist until he becomes a freshman in high school.

I've spent the past few years having less and less full parental supervision as my parents' `hands-off' approach to raising children continued to grow (or get looser). Of course, they never had any more kids, so I was just by myself. And in some cases, you could say that I was a bit spoiled, but not totally. They tried to teach me, even at an early age that it was important to do things for yourself and that they weren't just going to give me everything in life. But little things now and again, I could have if I wanted.

With their hands-off approach, I started to get more and more free time to myself. And since I was in school now, granted it was only 2nd grade, I had more exposure to the outside world. I did pretty well in school, but wasn't like the absolute best or anything. I was fairly popular and friendly, and that made growing up pretty easy. I didn't get picked on or get in fights or crazy stuff like that.

When friends came over to play at the house, it was kind of bizarre to tell them the story of why I had a toilet in my own room. And generally I just told them it was for convenience. I would say that my parents were a bit crazy, which wasn't far from the truth! So, the story would pass without any trouble. Granted, no one in the house ever used that toilet for waste purposes, but my friends never knew that.

I got to spend a bit more time at school because of my parents' hands-off approach. I still took the bus like most kids, even though they could have driven me to school themselves if they had wanted to. My parents were fairly wealthy as they owned a super-successful widget-making business. It gave them more free time to spend on the more important things in life, but they also felt that I should have a semi-normal upbringing and growth experience instead of just being handed everything on a silver platter.

Since we lived fairly close to the school, sometimes I'd skip the bus and just walk home. Especially if I was staying a bit after school to study a certain porcelain object. The toilets at the school were beautiful wall mount ones that operated totally differently from mine at home. A massive pipe connected to the toilet that jutted out from the wall, turned left and then straight down into the toilet. A nice shiny surface made it one of those `shiny' objects that everyone jokes about nowadays ("ooh look, shiny!!") A long rounded handle came out the left side of the pipe (technically it was the valve as I'd figure out later) that you could push down to flush the toilet. Something that I learned in those early days was that the handle could not only be pushed down, but pulled up, forward or pushed back; nearly any type of motion would start the flush.

I spent a lot of time in the school restroom after school. Well, it was a lot of time when you put it all together, but each little session was pretty short. Now, it wasn't as if I wasn't spending any time with my toilets at home, but these school toilets were totally different and needed to be explored. I was still in the portion of my learning about toilets where I hadn't taken the step of flushing one while sitting on it or even just touching it while it flushed. It would still take me a little bit more time to come full circle back to when I was being given baths in my toilet at home.

If you think that Matt `took a bit longer' to get a bit more up close and personal with a toilet, well, then it took me forever to do it! OK, well actually, it was actually about the same age when we both started experimenting in that direction, but let's just say that Matt was able to do a bit more than I did. Matt was curious about the toilets, as was I, but his bond to them was already so strong that he seemed to just take his time about the whole thing since he felt that `connection' already.

I, on the other hand, was simply curious about these large porcelain plumbing fixtures. They were so impossible to avoid as I (and everyone else) used them everyday, sometimes even multiple times per day. As this curiosity grew, I wanted to really try to understand toilets more, but it was fairly difficult. Any strange out-of-the-norm behavior was usually picked-up on by my parents and I didn't want to cause alarm. And, having a boy who studied toilets and spent too much time in the bathroom would definitely do that. So, I had to be careful and watch what I did.

I also got to explore toilets outside of the house and learn a bit more about them with every chance I had. But, again, any weird behavior and there would be questions that would have to be answered. And I didn't want to answer those kinds of questions more than once.

So, now you're probably thinking to yourself, "ok, these boys apparently didn't have real lives and they just studied toilets every time they went to the bathroom. Why is this even interesting?" Well, just wait! Our lives were essentially boring when growing up. I don't know much about your life when you were less than 10 years old, but it mostly involved obeying rules, doing some exploring of the world, hanging with friends, going to school and just being a kid. This is a work of fiction and non-fiction at the same time, so we're staying true to some parts and totally off-base on others. And besides, the good stuff is yet to come. And trust us, it's really good.

Matt and I continued growing up, learning about the world, making mistakes, going to school and so forth. I wasn't as popular as Matt, and didn't have it as easy as he did in school, at least socially. I did a bit better than he did in terms of academics. Hmm, does that word really apply to elementary school? Probably not!

I, like Matt, didn't touch a flushing toilet for some time. OK, well he didn't touch one that was flushing for a while after his flushing-baths years ago. You may be wondering why both of us didn't do that earlier. Well, we really were interested in toilets, but weren't so sure of them. When you're a kid, fantasy and imagination are the rule. And facts and reality can often be ignored. If you wondered about what might happen if you were in contact, somehow, with a flushing toilet, it might make one want to stay away from it. I was just a bit un-sure of them because I was a bit more careful, timid and shy than Matt was anyways. It would generally take longer for me to do anything, as far as experimenting with something, than it would for Matt. It wouldn't be until one summer that I would decide to start figuring them out and not worry about certain things. Matt did the same thing, except that he got a bit more than he bargained for.

We'll fast-forward again through time for a little bit here. As we grew up, we both moved in certain directions in our lives. One could see that I was developing into a more-mature-for-my-age kid and Matt was developing into, well, a huge socialite. OK, not really. He delved into some sports and I started moving into more brain activities and having fun with computers, video games and nerdy stuff. I was fairly popular with the `out' crowd at school. You know, the bizarre ones. Theatre geeks, skateboarders and computer guys. OK, maybe not theatre quite yet, but that would be there later on. Matt would slowly turn into the person who I would meet in high school, and be my exact `type' and perfect match and everything. Of course, I was a bit shy and never really interacted with him more than chatting in classes we had together. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

One of the things I got interested in during my early years was swimming. Maybe it was the whole thing of the toilet baths and getting comfortable in water at an early age, I don't know. As I grew up, I knew I wanted to make swimming a big part of my life. Granted, there is no such thing as professional swimming for nine-year-olds, so it was all just practice at that point. At the earliest possible age though, I started into competitive swimming and was hooked on it. Later on in junior high and high school, I would get into cross country. Both sports required something that I seemed to have plenty of: endurance.

It would be interesting to see how all three things would help each other out: toilets, swimming and cross country. I'm sure at this point, you can only imagine. At my point in life, I couldn't have even known what was coming!

Life went on, sometimes damn boring at times. I did well in school, had a few friends, and did more cerebral stuff than Matt's sporting and more interesting. But, I still had fun. One piece of fun was always visiting the bathroom. Getting to watch another flush go down the toilet was fascinating and continued to bewilder me as, sometimes, I'd get that strange sensation that would race through my body. And, as time went on, it wasn't just that sensation that would occur, but a whole body-shaking shiver would come over me for a few seconds. More unexplained pieces of the puzzle that I had to wait years to try to put together.

My parents were pretty set in their marriage and they always took an annual trip somewhere for their anniversary and to keep the romance alive. And all the years up until now I had always been sent to a friend's house to stay until they got back. This year, they thought that I was self-sufficient enough for someone to just come and check in on me every few days. I had plenty of emergency contact numbers and, even though I couldn't drive anywhere, I could order stuff or have people go buy food or what not from the store if needed. My parents I think secretly wanted to see how well I would do and, that maybe if I had some un-supervised time, I'd get away from the video games and become a more sociable person. Their plan failed, HA! I did become a bit more sociable, but I also became a bit closer with a certain porcelain plumbing fixture.

On the other hand, my parents by this time, barely cared about me and I think we saw each other like once a month maybe. OK just kidding, they weren't that crazy. But the hands-off thing was continuing and I was just a cool kid growing up, taking swimming to the max and being as sociable as ever. I'm not egotistical in any way, but I'd probably say that I was probably pretty hot for a nine year old. Granted, back then, I had no real concept of attraction or sexual interest, so it wouldn't have really mattered. Of course, with the toilet thing I knew I was different. And it would be over the next year where my `tendencies' would start to develop and I would come to understand that I was gay. And for a kid like me, I didn't really care one way or another what I was!

My life at home was cool. It was any way that I wanted it. I spent as much or little time doing nearly anything I wanted to. Well, that's too much of a blanket statement. Let's just say that, unlike Casey, if I did something for too long, it didn't arouse any suspicions or set off any warning bells. My parents were great and, while they could still be `parents' sometimes, they generally let me be and only intervened in my life if they could see something drastically going wrong.

Remember how I mentioned that my room was way at the end of the house and it was upstairs? Who knows why we had such a large house with 6 bedrooms for just the three of us. I guess they liked having the extra space, or thought they'd have tons of kids. But, I was the only one they had had and it suited me just fine. It was easier than having brothers and sisters to deal with, especially with the whole toilet exploration thing.

School was out, and it was summer. Like Casey, I wanted to continue exploring the toilets that I had at home, but still hadn't really done anything except watch them. In fact, I hadn't done much except just use them and watch them. Nothing extra special, I had been content with that apparently. But, it all changed that summer. It changed for Casey, too. "When the cat's away", as the saying goes!

This is now, officially, where we get into the `good stuff'. Hooray!

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