Metal Butterflies are uncomfortable

metal butterfly_1

Art? Furniture? who knows?

There’s no comfortable way to sit on a metal butterfly.

Hang on, I suspect I need to clarify that first sentence.

To do that I have to apologize upfront that I’m going to be vague about some things. The family has been in a bit of crisis, but it’s not my story to tell. Everything will be fine, but it’s been a stressful week or so, hence my lack of continuation for the little series of Greek blog posts.

This crisis has required me to spend copious amounts of time in a local hospital. I don’t know how often you’re in hospitals, and I can only pray that the answer to that is very rarely, but hospitals don’t have a lot of empty space.

Whether there are waiting rooms, cafeterias, coffee shops, gift shops, or anything else is beside the point because what there really isn’t is a lot of, is privacy. Even at night, when the amount of people in the building is reduced significantly, there’s still not much privacy. After hours I’ve wandered down to the cafeteria, empty save for the soda machines where they sell my brand of iced tea (know where your favorite drink vending machines are, folks!) but even then, there’s usually one or two people on lunch break for their night shift.

So with that in mind, the hardest thing to find has been even a modicum of privacy. You can though, and I have discovered the last two weeks that every hospital has nooks and crannies which are empty or at least less heavily trafficked.

There’s a spot here in the hospital where two hallways collide somewhat awkwardly, and while it’s not completely quiet, it’s relatively low-traffic.

I’d sit on the floor, but I don’t have to because someone thoughtfully placed a bench there.

Hello Butterfly Bench!

metal butterfly_2

More form than function, also the antennae poke.

The bench is more art than practical item. I don’t want to sound ungrateful because again, it’s this or the floor, but there’s no actual way to sit on this thing comfortably for very long.

As you can see by the picture, the “wings” curve back and away from the seat. So when I sit on it, the whole thing makes me look like I have wings and am some sort of pudgy wood-sprite dude.

Which, cool, I always wanted wings, but also ouch, my back hurts.

dad moon butterfly


It’s pretty quiet there though, and aside from the chapel – which I forgot to mention earlier is quiet, but also not really somewhere I’m going to make a phone call or something – about the only place you can be where you can be alone, at least consistently during the day.

Still, I have questions, such as given the discomfort one has sitting on this bench, how did it come to be here in the hospital? It’s far more form than function, and it’s in such a random place it’s hard not to think it was donated and everyone looked at it with a sort of weird smile on their face and said “Gee, it’s nice….. Thanks?” and then had no idea what to do with it because: totally impractical to actually sit on.

So they found some random corner of the hospital, moved it there and said “Done.” Which was brilliant because you can tell the artist that it deserved its own special place whenever they came to check out their work.

Still, I’m grateful it’s here because it’s somewhere to sit that isn’t in a hospital room, and somewhere that, during the day, you can go and be relatively alone with your thoughts, call a friend for support or sit and contemplate the reality of a metal butterfly bench.

Plus it brings a little bit of whimsy to what can be a scary place.

And I have to be honest – uncomfortable as it is, the metal butterfly is really good at the other stuff.

PS – As I was posting this, I realized a fatal missed opportunity – which is like a fatal flaw but different – as I could have referred to this bench as the Iron Butterfly and then pulled in clicks from all the aging Boomers who remember the band from the late 60s, but I suppose they will have to come and settle for the video below.

PPS – Also Metal Butterfly is the name of my new throwback hair metal band. Our first album will be titled “Uncomfortable Butterfly Bench” and be an hour of guitar harmonics and rapid drum beats.

PPPS – I lied, there is no band. Sorry, not sorry.  




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Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Listening to: The Heist, Macklemore Watching: Damages

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