Confessions of a Public Toilet

Public toilets, a rather taboo subject usually associated with a recoil or a disgusted facial expression.  A public toilet is traditionally a small cupboard-like room containing a toilet, a sink and depending on how lucky you are a hand drier that actually works. For years public toilets have been seen as a bacteria’s breading grounds covered in ‘graffiti’ and grime that can have the ability to make you physically gag just thinking about them; it is safe to say the common opinion of a public toilet is not a positive one. You could say the ‘graffiti’ gives a toilet character which can inspire an individual as much as it can leave others unimpressed. This is essentially a room that can emit the most horrific smells with the capability of sending anyone with OCD running for the hills. So the big question is why would anyone want to spend anymore time in a public toilet than is really necessary?

For some people they don’t share this view on public toilets. There are people out there who share their deepest thoughts on the walls and doors surrounding the toilet, for them it is a chance to escape from the world. All they need are the walls, themselves and a pen. Many people use this as a way to off load any troubles or stress they may be battling with and in effect use the door as a shoulder to cry on, however, others use this space to be witty, creative and just themselves. When using a public toilet it is easy to be sucked into the graffiti style world an anonymous has created. Anything from “I cheated on him with his best friend” to “I was here 2014” and even “Animals are not yours to eat” are the types of messages I have found around the toilet walls of Brighton; my personal favourite was found in the pub in kemp town “Anyone up for a shag” with a hilariously witty response “Ask the bar staff they aren’t picky”.

Graffiti is a way of expression which allows people to be free to say what they believe in. The anonymous aspect behind the creations that surround the toilet walls is an intimate and daring attitude that allows the creators to be free of judgement and rules put into place by society. Being anonymous gives the creative a sense of security due to the obvious fact of no one knowing who you are. An interesting factor surrounding the act of using a toilet wall to confess your deepest darkest secrets is how people write the most intimate thoughts on the door of the most intimate room used for private matters. Whether or not you think a public toilet is a filthy hell hole or a sanctuary, the toilet is still a room with a door and a lock that has the ability to entertain your brief but interesting visit to a public toilet.

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