Friday, December 09, 2005

the pavilion and the lonely smoker

As I leave the office and the dark haze that fills the space between my eyes and the light that I stare into day in and day out, I anticipate the brisk beauty of impending winter outside the tromb’e wall of glass to give the perception that you are outdoors when in fact you are most definitely not. I long for the outdoors on days like today. When the birds are scarce from the northern wind blowing them closer to the sun. When the slight breeze reminds you that you are just far enough from the sun to avoid the seed of cancer that it plants in your skin. When this same breeze meandering through the tree, masks the sea of cars and concrete that lie just outside of your sanctuary. Speaking of sanctuaries, well they are harder and harder to come by lately. A concrete bench, on a mezzanine level of a park that serves the city is my home away from home. A tree hangs above to give me the shade I need in the summer and, here on the verge of winter, it keeps me company. You don’t have to be an evergreen to survive here anymore. It’s as if I am again inside while outside. The modernists were all wrong. Do you know who else is wrong? Those who believe the following is what modernism was all about, bring the outside in. Sure we’ve mastered the elements but something about this is contradictory and led to the nonsense that became deconstructivism. Less is just an abstraction of an idea that shouldn’t exist in architecture. See, this nonsense fills my mind and distracts me from the important things. Back to where I was going. So just as I step outside to take a deep breath of the fresh air that never greets me at my desk, the plaza is filled with escapist attention spanning suicides filling my lungs with the opposite of air. As I proceed further from the façade the air clears for two steps and then I wait for the buses and vans to stop and I cross in front of them as I cough from their excrement. Smokers always grab the idea that they are outside because they are some sort of imbred environmentalists when this is the opposite of the case, except for the imbred part, that is of course right on. I approach my sanctuary and the inside of the pavilion, that my sanctuary flanks, is full of public radio contributors eating their curds and whey and so I take the long way around to my bench. The mirror image of my sanctuary, in the shade of one of the great architect’s building, is quite ruined because of the sheer height of the building and the angle of the sun in the winter. Atleast it steps back as it goes heaven-ward but this still doesn’t save this sanctuary in the winter, when the sun is an asset and depressed. As I progress around the block, most entrances are blocked by a bright yellow ribbon that says “caution”. I’m not sure if this is propaganda or not. Anyways, when I finally arrive at my sanctuary on the mezzanine level of the pavilion, I begin my escape from time and space into a book commenting on our fixation on the impending apocalypse looming on the horizon. Too bad this is the nature of existence. I guess this is the essence of existence but does this precede existence? Suddenly the air is thickened in the same manner as that outside of the illusion of my prison. Then I look up to the main level of the pavilion and the loner smokers of the group within the pavilion are dotting the side of the railing up and on the other side of myself. Wow, what will be your excuse today, everyone else is outside too. Needless to say I begin on my way, to seek sanctuary elsewhere because of these victims of the same blood that decided that land should become our greatest asset and one who decided a soul could be sold.

We look for the how to understand why. Who will wonder where we will walk?

My whole life is like a movie where you can predict the end but you won’t feel complete until it comes to pass.

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience." -George Bernard Shaw


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