Public Exposure

By Adam Figman, Editorial Intern

Picture this. You walk into a public bathroom on a street corner. It has a pretty standard setup, equipped with a toilet, toilet paper, sink, paper towels, and garbage. With one catch: you can see everyone, and everything, that surrounds you, outside of the bathroom. No, they can’t see you, because the bathroom is enclosed by one-way glass. All passer-byers see is a reflection of themselves and the environment around them. But you see them. Looking at you. Eyeing you down. Of course, you'd get a little insecure.  Who wouldn’t?

Bath1                 Bath2

As seen in the picture above, a Houston public restroom puts locals to the test. The real question is: Could you? Would you? As for me, I’m not too sure.Maybe quickly, during one of those ‘nobody’s around’ moments when the pedestrian traffic is at a lull. I think a phone booth might be a little better suited for the half-mirror, half-transparent glass

Smokeroom

Meanwhile, take a look at the ceiling on the room above. That mural is what you might see when you look up in your local smoker’s lounge. Perhaps you’ve had a long day, and an end-of-the-day cigar is just what you need to take a load off and relax. Could you do so with the illusion of a strange religious service going on just a few feet over your head?

Personally, I don’t experience much relaxation while feeling I could be buried alive from the onlookers above at any moment. But I’ve never been one for optical illusions. Would you mind socializing in a room like this?  

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