Butterfly Toilet

dt.common.streams.StreamServerMy first memories of home are back alleys behind a block of high-rise tenements. Walking up the unpaved short-cut from the park across the street,  I could see the stairs to the fifth floor apartments snaking their way in a zigzag pattern up the backs of the identical buildings. Ours was recognizable by the white painted billboard of a butterfly that loomed across the north side of the brickface. With its wings spread in flight, an older child might think it symbolized metamorphosis from the poverty under which we now lived. It wouldn’t be until years later that my brother would point out to me that my delicate, fluttering insect was really a painting of a disconnected toilet seat. The cover and seat were open, and looked to my five year old senses like the open wings of a butterfly.

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This was a Six Sentence Story. The cue was “park.” Go link in and hop around a bit!


20 thoughts on “Butterfly Toilet

  1. I like to think that the world we a five year old sees is a lot happier than the reality that exists. Good story, and I’m guessing from the comment about your sister, that it is a true story.


  2. Childhood memories shattered. But now I want to know why someone painted a toilet. And now that I think about it, how do we know your brother was right? Maybe you were right and his immature boy brain saw a toilet? Maybe? 🙂


    1. My brother was an illustrator in his early 20s I was in my late teens. He happened to be drawing a piece about Harvard for Boston magazine when they were doing a story about the last of the tenement buildings that we lived in… the group was called the battleship and ours was the last building in the battleship that was standing. It was torn down but not before we went down there to take a look at it and noticed the billboard was still there… it was an advertisement for toilet seats.


  3. There was a roadside advertisement for Kendall Oil when I was a kid that I thought was a bunny head. It wasn’t until I was grown that I found out if was a hand with two fingers extended.


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