I’m fascinated by bathrooms. These places of respite can exacerbate or calm. Disgust or pacify. Some can even be beautiful. This one is cool; the coolest ever.
Sure, the barbed wire on the toilet seat looks like it’s trying too hard to stand out. But the thought of having your skin so close to barbed wire, even if it’s covered by hardened plastic, hints at danger, sadism, and plain crazy. I didn’t experiment by sitting on it for the sake of living on the edge (or, the wire, lol!) but the thought was enough. Then I moved on to the odd water basin that resembled those old soap dispensers in elementary school with the “soap” which was surely just chalk mixed with gravel squirted out water wildly and wastefully. But it was different.
Upon reflection I wondered why anyone bothered with making this one different. They could’ve just shoved some tile and porcelain into the would-be john and nobody would bat an eye. They didn’t, though, and what they did do is revolutionary.
Somebody decided that they were going to brave the treacherous tides of being the vanguard. They saw banality and consciously chose to add color and spice. Somebody thought that the way of doing things, even if it was the type of toilet seat and washing station they were going to choose, didn’t have to be predetermined and that they were going to decide the fate of this bathroom because it was theirs. They didn’t try to get all the other restaurants and bars to change their toilet seats and water stations (as far as I know), they just did what they thought was best for them. Now, thousands of people will see and use that toilet seat and they will see and use that water station and know that the next time they cut their hair, buy some shoes, vote, write a paragraph, talk to a boy or a girl, think to say something, they can be unordinary. They will know that they can decide freely and that it’s all right. For one day they experienced what it was like for their skin to be teased by trapped barbed wire and their hands washed with erratically spraying water because somebody had been irreverent to the conventions of bathroom design and, in the end, it wasn’t half bad.
By: William Bairamian