Saturday, May 31, 2008


The room is far from completion, in fact, the entire construction of the house is long past the estimated time once given by the construction company. The exterior gives the image of completion, horizontal wood panels, painted a cheery robin’s egg blue cloak the exterior walls. From an outsider’s eye, the 2 story house blends in perfectly in this suburban neighborhood; like the dreams of schoolgirls and sentimental architects, this is a house designed to raise a family in. A window with blue shutters adorns the second story, its steepled roof completes the picture. Gardeners have already planted grass and fruit trees in the front yard. The white picket fence will soon be built. But inside, there is no family eating pancakes. The basic structure of the home is laid out, the rooms are divided and the stairs leading to the second story is built, but everywhere wood beams are exposed, awaiting the covering of sheet rock. The floors are covered in plywood and the air is heavy with the smell of sawdust and sweat. There are crumpled newspapers on the ground and remnants of a fast food lunch.
A carpenter in starchy white denim stands in the center of what will be the dining room. The last golden light of a warm afternoon streaks in through the open window-holes, bathing him in a renaissance glow. His forearms are large and tan and covered in sun bleached hair. His thick and sturdy shoulders seem even more capable in the dingy orange t-shirt he wears. In the heat of a fading summer afternoon, dark wet spots adorn his armpits. Most of his shoulder length hair is held back in a rubber band, although some stray curly black hairs, not quite long enough to conform with the others have escaped and stick to his sweaty face. The overalls are worn and brown around the cuffs and small spots of mutli-colored paint make sporadic appearances all over, although the largest concentration of paint dwells on the material that covers his sculpted thick thighs. His habit of constant hand wiping has created a rainbow pool on each leg, not a speck of the white denim can be seen. His right foot, sheathed in a size 12 tan leather boot stands firmly on the ground which is littered with the pencil markings and doodles of construction workers. His left foot is on the lowest rung of an aluminum ladder, his weight providing the extra stability and balance. His arms grip either side of the ladder edges, his forearm muscles bulge with his effort, steadying his partner who stands on the topmost rung.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Immortal Store

It is a tiny and historic little cove of storefronts, a post office, a locksmith, a few empty buildings. Each one is petite, nestled in with its neighbors like the residents of a home for the elderly snuggled together on one faded couch. Plaster has chipped away from the walls revealing red bricks, dust has gathered thickly in window corners, paint is wrinkling and peeling from doorways. Each one has its own distinct character. A few have aged better than others. Well cared for, they smile with cheerful dignity and the wisdom of their age, wearing newer coats of paint on the architecture of bygone eras.
At the very center of this horseshoe gathering, at the end of the cove, one building seems imbued with the enchantments of immortality. Its white columns set it apart in style from its cronies, lending it a classical elegance. Its front door is hidden just five or six little accordion steps below street level, like the pouty lips of a sophisticated woman veiled by a fan. Delicate lace curtains hang like down turned eye lashes in the tall lean rectangular windows that flank the door. Inside, shelves are littered with an array of antiques and ruffled niceties. Crystal platters lay among potpourri sachets tied with bronze colored satin ribbons. Fluted flower vases display little pink rosebuds with thread frayed edges and sprays of tiny acrylic pearls. Most prevalent however are the crowded rows of fine china dolls, forced together like schoolgirls for a class picture. They are lined up together on shelves high and low. Shiny little ringlets of amber, gold, and chestnut hang out from under sailors caps and bonnets and around smiling cherub faces. Red lips, pink lips, peach lips, perfect little noses, and dimpled cheeks, creamy unmarred complexions, all of these features complement their merrily sparkling glass eyes. Blue, green, brown, and even violet, they look out from under thick dark eyelashes, unblinking and unperturbed, frozen in an eternal moment of mirth.
Many clean little dresses hang from racks upon the walls. They are of various sizes and styles, all handmade of satin, crepe, lace, and cotton, accented with little satin rosebuds and bows. A small counter built of panels of white wood plays hostess to a cash register set on top of an over sized crochet doily. The dolls wait expectantly along the walls throughout the store, but those behind the register seem especially demanding of adoration. They are piled upon tiers of shelving behind the little white counter, legs dangling from under luxurious little petticoats.
There are boxes on the floor filled with older dolls of less refinement and worth. Cabbage patch dolls with rubber faces and hair of yellow or orange yarn lie face down among an endless supply of grinning Troll dolls with their tanned pot bellies and tufts of neon hair. An old broken rocking horse is hidden in one corner, lost among the new white wicker carriages designed for carrying elegant dolls. A rusty blue and yellow aluminum top keeps it company, as well as an old tin lunch box turned so that its face can’t be seen. The space itself is very narrow and all of the antiques and toys, seem almost invisible crowded as they are, each stealing the others thunder. The overall effect is an atmosphere of clutter. Only the china dolls behind the register can contend with the silent clamor, drawing attention to themselves through their sameness and unity of perfection.
A powder blue door leads into a small back room another two steps down. In here there are more boxes filled with things that wouldn’t fit or fetch a high price. The majority of the space is occupied by a large, neatly made brass bed attended by an armoire and a petite dresser with an oval mirror. There is a window behind the bed with a sheer white curtain hung over it. Light breathes in through the gossamer fabric, and the shadows of greenery on the other side can be seen pressing upon the glass. Another door opens into a bathroom no bigger than a closet. Within, the porcelain is white and clean and the golden fixtures are polished to gleaming brightness. The floor however, reveals its age in the form of cracked tiles and yellowed grout.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Portal

The earth is covered in dying golden brown grass and leafy hip-high bushes of a blackish-blue hue. Scattered upon the landscape are oak trees, their bark and tiny leaves have absorbed and manifested the darkly colored images that play upon the landscape of heaven. Thick cloud covers have layered themselves upon the sky. Grand streaks of gray and blue sweep overhead, each displaying a slightly different shade of darkness. Despite the clouds, the predominant color is a deep reddish black. It is as though the air itself is red, an invisible red that is somehow tangible at the same time. It is not a bright joyous color, but more of a muted blood mixed with black and nebulous star systems. In all directions, the landscape continues unabated… just grass, trees and shrubs and the dominant sky force. Among this place is a dug-out piece of earth, a large hole about 7 feet deep. The hole resembles a rectangle, because of its two longer opposing sides, but it is also so organically carved that it looks like a choppy oval. The walls of the hole are solid, but very small patches of green grass grow sporadically in the slight grooves and miniscule crevasses of soil. The cutaway earth is rich in minerals, the soil is moist and dark and little pieces of sediment flicker in the light. In the center of the trench, a young woman lays on her left side, maintaining her balance with her left forearm. Her voluptuous hip pushes itself up and forward, offering itself to the gods. She lays like a muse to a painter, relaxed and soft, a soft sensual earth creature dwelling in its place. Her skin is pale and white, and her hair is light, a golden orb of curls and sparkling streaks. She has on rags, a tattered shirt of white linen and a frayed peanut-shell colored skirt. Towards one tip of the hole, where her head is closest to it, there is an open tunnel. Just large enough for a human to crawl through, it is in the direct center of the earth wall. The space inside is completely black, not a sliver of light goes in or comes from it. Resting on her left arm, she uses her right hand to scoop up handfuls of earth. She cups mud colored like pale peaches, the sediment is soft and smooth in her hand and she rubs the thick liquid on her face, painting herself with its color. She takes another handful of mud, this one slightly yellow in color. She rubs it over her hips. Another scoop, this handful contains eggshell colored mud. The silt drips from her forehead, follows a path down her chin. She covers herself in handful after handful of mud, each a slightly different hue of the spectrum found within stone and soil.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Old Apartment

It is a short dead end alley, just off a busy street. On each outer corner there is a large 2 story house, protected by metal bars, broken glass and a tall brick wall. Further down, there is another brick wall and a gate that doesn’t quite hide a long driveway. In front of that is a small apartment building, gray unpainted walls and another thick metal gate that rolls open on tiny wheels. That gate is currently open and leads to a small driveway covered in adobe bricks. At the end of the alley, there is a small parking lot and an old hotel sign made of steel. The actual hotel building is off to one side and is hidden by trees and large bushes. Two middle aged men with small machine guns hanging from their shoulders sit leisurely talking to a giggling maid in a blue outfit. Another man, skinny, brown and wrinkled, wearing a large straw hat and a large machete around his waist, walks back and forth among the cars. The cars are new and polished, most of them with polarized windows and shiny metal logos. In the distance, there is the sound of busy traffic and of a Mariachi band, combined with the barking of dogs and loud laughter.
There is a fourth large house, directly next to one of the hidden walls of the hotel. Its front is completely covered by a 20 feet tall brick wall and two black metal gates. On one of them the words "no parking" are painted. The paint is starting to fade and crack. There are two tiny bell ringers next to the large gates, each with two separate buttons. A smaller door is incorporated into the gate and it is half open. From inside comes the sound of soft conversation and the sporadic clicking of a mechanical typewriter.
There is another door a few feet away, which is closed. That door leads to a small stairway, made of concrete slabs hooked together by a steel framework, that ends in a wooden door. Behind the door is a small apartment, consisting of 3 rooms and a bathroom. The front room is long and narrow. There is a window that faces a gray concrete roof and is covered in metal bars arranged in diagonal patterns. There is a wide, flat couch on the opposite wall and a very small black and white TV in the corner. On the other side of that wall, there is a larger square room, which is almost completely unfurnished, except for a small bed that sits in one corner, carefully made and covered by a colorful blanket. In the farthest corner of that room, there is another door which has been permanently shut. The third room, which connects to the first room by an open doorway, is even larger and slightly more furnished. There is a large bed, unmade and disheveled, in the center, a large and noisy metal fan that slides back and forth on its base as it gyrates, a small wooden armoire in one corner and a second black and white TV. On the floor there is a large open suitcase, the clothes inside thrown in all different directions, unfolded and disorganized. Connecting the two bedrooms, there is a small bathroom, with two doors that don’t close. Inside, there is a slightly dirty shower stall, an old fashioned toilet and a light blue sink, faded and stained.
A man sits in the first room, on the couch. He is about twenty five years old and about six feet tall. He is very skinny and has a long pony tail that trails to the middle of his back. He is wearing a stained white button shirt and black corduroy pants. The shirt is unbuttoned all the way to the waist and it’s drenched in thick sweat. The man’s face and body are also covered in thick sweat. Several scents mingle with his body odor: a slight hint of woman’s perfume, a dash of old fashioned men’s cologne and the strong aroma of a woman’s arousal. He is laying back on the flat couch, looking up at the ceiling and towards the barred window. His eyes are wide open and full of wonderment. His hands periodically clench and release. His mouth mutters the trails of unfinished thoughts, implied questions and broken statements. Every so often, he stretches and exhales loudly. Then his eyes return to the ceiling and the window and the muttering continues. In the distance, a dog barks again and, inside the room, the electric fan continues its droning, overpowering the man’s soft whispers and the sporadic sound of cars driving by outside.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

After Hours Theater

The mall is old and complex. Rather than a single unified design, it appears to have suffered a number of structural additions and modifications through its history, creating an architectural collage where classical styles meet modern and some corners are unplanned combinations of both. In the lower levels, there are long aisles, adorned with tall green plants and small lawns surrounded by metal bars. Over these alleys are narrow bridges that connect the upper areas, combinations of large department stores and restaurants and smaller businesses that are just a little more than holes in the wall. In the higher levels, the predominant wall color is red, but it is punctuated by some white and yellow. In the lower levels, the green of the plants contrasts with the red brick of the paths, the black metal bars and the white walls. The entire place is surrounded by a large parking lot, also organized by large flat level steps that connect through ramps.
Most of the lot is empty and most of the stores are closed. A single old fashioned diner has its lights on, but the chairs are turned upside down on the tables. A bookstore in the lower level is open but there is nobody inside, not even a shopkeeper. Aside from a very few stragglers that scurry about from one dark corner to another, the whole place is silent and desolate, bathed in twilight and the echoes of distant footsteps.
In one of the upper levels, there is an old movie theater, the kind that has several screening rooms. There corner where it sits appears to be specially forgotten and slightly dirty, a place that has been passed by. A long ticket booth, covered in thick glass with small openings for the exchange of money, is still buzzing with the light and sound of its high fluorescent lamps, but there are no ticket sellers. The lobby, covered in a thick red striped carpet, is clean and lit as well, but there are no ushers to be seen. There are small benches on the sides of the lobby, and tall ashtrays and waste baskets standing next to them. Some of the ashes on the trays are still burning.
Shiny posters outside announce the movies that are currently playing inside: two different horror movies, three romantic comedies, a western, a detective story and a drama. Inside, there are several sets of heavy doors that lead to the various theaters. All of them are closed, but an electronic ticker above each one still announces the movies and the hours at which they play. Beside one of the doors, there is a different poster, for a very old black and white movie, showing an elegant woman smoking a very long cigarette and an angry man in a suit and tie, a large drop of sweat dripping across his forehead.
Inside one of the theaters, a horror movie plays. Scenes of violence, fear and pursuit alternate with shorter moments of silence and calm. The light reflects on the screen and vaguely illuminates the few spectators that remain in the room.
There is a young woman in a white shirt and a black skirt. She leans back on her seat, her eyes fluttering between the screen and the theater. Sometimes they close, and she appears to be asleep, but then they open suddenly and she examines her surroundings once again. She is very small, of light skin and black hair. She appears to be concerned about something but doesn’t move away from her seat.
A man sits two rows behind her. He is wearing a thick winter jacket and blue jeans. He is about thirty years old and his eyes also alternate between being shut and watching the screen. Sometimes he looks at the girl that sometimes looks back at him. For a moment they share a moment of questioning, then they both turn back and close their eyes. He is a bit overweight and has the beginnings of a scraggly beard around his chin and cheeks. For an instant, his forehead shows signs of worry, but he leans back once again and concentrates on the film.
The third spectator is an older woman that sits towards the back, on the left hand corner of the theater. She is dressed in a light beige business suit, skin colored stockings and high heels. She has a black leather bag on her lap which she clutches tightly between her thin, slightly wrinkled hands. She recurrently looks to the exit, as if contemplating leaving, but then she looks back at the screen and becomes absorbed in the action once again. Her lips open and close constantly, saying something very softly over and over again.
The scenes of panic and bloodshed continue to play on the big screen before them. The same few people are being killed over and over. The movie is not progressing to an ending and there is no memory of where it started, if it ever did. When the light is particularly bright, the woman looks at her two companions and her muttering becomes just slightly louder.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


It is a large open space, inside a vast modern building. The roof is very high and slightly curved, and scattered throughout are many thick white columns. The walls are white as well, punctuated by light brown and black adornments along the edges. There are large banners high up on the walls and smaller posters at eye level. There are small booths arranged in long rows, forming a criss cross pattern through the hall. Each booth has one or two sellers showing off their items or their skills. People walk from one booth to another, asking questions, admiring the merchandise, talking to each other and sometimes buying a piece. The products are of a wide variety. Some people are selling books and magazines, others sell paintings, sculptures or posters. Others sell unique items: a rare letter from a legendary author, a cross encrusted with the bones of saints, an exotic musical instrument that consists of several layers of cymbals connected by a metal cylinder, a silver scepter said to be from a lost civilization. The sellers are of a wide variety as well. Some are old and sly, wearing overcoats and hats, their eyebrows slant upwards and their smiles seem frozen in place. They know what to say and how to say it, they can respond quickly to any question and have a way of holding their audience in place. Others are young and inexperienced. They sit behind their products, hoping someone will want them and they smile weakly when asked a question, as if asking for forgiveness or pity from the onlookers. The noise of the salesmen and the crowd that moves around them is echoed through the huge space, forming a constant wall of sound that vibrates and feedbacks upon itself.
The entire place is surrounded by a garden. There are several doorways to the garden and they are all open, allowing a gentle breeze to flow through. Outside, people sit, eat and talk. There are many stone paths that connect a multitude of stone tables. There are many cement benches as well, surrounding large carefully trimmed bushes. Several large trees provide shade and there is a large open lawn where kids play. A young boy examines the magical stick that his Dad just bought him. His eyes are full of wonder as they caress every detail of the engravings that cover the stick. The father sits a few feet away, reading a new book while he eats a hot dog. A slight brunette girl poses for her boyfriend wearing a new shiny dress and a pearl necklace she just got. The boyfriend, a young surfer in jeans and a T-shirt, sits and nod in appreciation. An older man with a beard sits with his back against a tree, observing the crowd as it moves past him.
Inside, there is a smaller area that is separated from the main hall only by some bookcases and tables, giving the impression of a self contained room. There are many people there, sitting on metal chairs, arranged like a small theater. They all hold their attention on a middle aged skinny man that stands on a small stage as he speaks onto a microphone. The words that he speaks align with the noise, forming a kind of smooth verbal harmony with the endless conversation that resonates against the walls. A thin blonde woman, wearing a light flowery summer dress, is standing in the midst of the audience and she sings back at the speaker, repeating his words with high melodic flourishes. People applaud sporadically as the woman continues to sing and the man continues to speak. The rational subject of the speech has been lost but something else has been found and it now bounces back and forth between the man and his microphone and the open mouth and heart of the brave innocent singer. An invisible sphere surrounds them and sets them apart from the loud chaos all around. Each word from the man and each high note from the woman seem to expand out and curve around the sphere and give it substance and shape, a kind of almost perceptible translucent blue veil. A woman has noticed what is happening and with her eyes closed, admires their ethereal construction.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


"Tickets!" the old woman shouts. Her hair is a dull gray mess of tangled curls which bob placidly just above her shoulders. Her bold lipstick contrasts glaringly with her faded sweatshirt and dirty jeans. She winds her way around the aluminum picnic benches, eyeing everyone, aged penny loafers sifting dust up from the dirt floor. "Tickets!", she demands. No one escapes her vulture like gaze, no worm or grub will crawl through this carcass and escape her greedy maw. Once received, she tears them with her withered hands. Maroon polished finger tips separate the serrated edges, breaking through the matte red paper board like beastly talons. Relishing the moment, she hands back the stubs with calculated sloth. Those without tickets scatter from her path and make their way to the ticket counter. It is a tiny shanty built of aluminum paneling, cardboard, and scrap.
A younger woman, hair pulled back in a boorish chestnut pony tale, sells the tickets from within, peering out the window of a door removed from a white pickup truck. The raised bucket seat upon which she sits has also been salvaged from a gutted wreck. She wears no make up and avoids eye contact and chit chat with the patrons. When forced to answer a question her voice conveys an apocalyptic lack of enthusiasm. Her dull blue eyes are like mirrored surveillance glass; she sees right through everything and everyone, but none can see behind their perpetually bored glare.
Beyond the ticketing area, the stage is no more than a generous patch of dirt surrounded by private boxes which resemble chicken coops. Each coop contains a queen sized bed. Huddled upon one, a group of teenage girls chatter and chew gum. Their hair is long, their earrings dangly and fashioned in neon colors. They wear hoodies of gray and black. Some don patches sewn or tacked on with safety pins. Squeezed into tight fitting denim cigarette pants, they giggle and gossip about the occupants of other boxes while painting their fingernails a whitchy shade of metallic purple.
In another box, a man and woman lie on their sides making love half under the sheets. Their down tempo thrusting and wiggling is in plain view. The woman, a waif like blonde, murmurs and moans volubly as her companion slowly presses his erect penis into her glistening slit, then just as slowly pulls it all of the way out again.
Yet another box holds an elderly Asian couple. They sit with impeccably upright posture, glancing furtively over at the passionate lovers. The woman’s hair is cut in a short black bob. The crisp collar of her blouse is visible over the v neck of an apple red sweater. The man’s face is flecked with sun spots folded into his wrinkles. He wears a powder blue fisherman’s cap to conceal his bald head. Both wear white socks under their sandals. They look from the lovers to their own bed with its tacky flowered comforter anxiously, trying to occupy the least amount of space possible, while wondering how often the sheets are washed. They speak to one another occasionally in short hurried snippets of Chinese, affirming their mutual concern and disgust.
Some elders share a box with a bedraggled pack of punks and street kids. The top dog is an older man with a sandy colored beard. He wears tattered blue jeans and a faded red tee shirt to reveal arms adorned with dull green tattoos. A single petite gold hoop hangs from one stretched looking earlobe. He is well recognized by everyone in his box, and among many of the spectators in other boxes. He holds a smoking cigarette in his left hand while gesturing with it towards a red record held in his right hand as he tells a "story of the time when…" with great conviction in its relevance. The younger boys look on with admiration and nod their hooded heads approvingly.
White Christmas lights, strung from coop to coop, provide some scant illumination. The pit at the center of the ring of boxes is lit by a handful of stage lights. Their haunting glow is cast over the dirt and extends into the boxes so that the shabby motel quality beds cast eerie shadows.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Sacred Mountain

A wide grassy field extends from a small parking lot to the edge of the forest. In the lot, there are several cars and trailers parked. Some of them are locked down, others are being unloaded by small groups of men and women. Most of them wear jeans and T-shirts sprayed with bright rainbow colors. An old man sits by his trailer, braiding sage sticks and telling stories. A young blond woman dances dreamily while a skinny boy plays the guitar and hums an improvised tune. Several men carry drums to a small circle at the end of the asphalt. The smell of marijuana flows throughout the space and people laugh intermittently without any obvious joke having been told. The field beyond the lot is quiet. From a distance, it appears as a flat blanket of even grass, but up close, the grass is tall and thick, and it hides a treacherous layer of red stones and muddy dirt. There is no clear path through it, only the quiet mystery of the green leaves and the dark earth beneath. Closer to the forest, the grass is thinner and the rocks are replaced by tiny pebbles and broken twigs. The trees are thick and old, crowned with complex webs of leaves and branches, which intermingle with each other, forming a continuous dark green roof that only allows for some light to come through.
At the edge of a small incline, there is a small orange tent. There are two sleeping bags inside and two large backpacks. One is light gray and has been left against a very thick root that marks a natural boundary around the campground. The other one is light brown and is next to the tent. Birds sing continuously as they flutter from one treetop to another and every once in a while the sound of a drummer testing his instrument travels over the field.
Above the incline, there is a clearing. Its floor is made of a thick layer of twigs and rich brown soil. In the soil, there are five circles of white stones arranged in a particular geometric pattern. Each circle is wide enough for two people to sit in comfortably. Above each there is a small drawing on the dirt. The sky is a dark blue, cloudless but no longer bright. The full moon can be seen along with some very bright stars. Looking up from the center (where one of the white stone circles is placed), the stars themselves seem to form a vast circle directly above the clearing.
One hundred feet away, there is a smaller clearing overlooking a steeper cliff. Here there are many broken bottles, piled up into a kind of rough pyramid. A short thick man stands over the pile, wearing a light brown hat and eating a power bar. He surveys the whole area, the trees, the bottles, the field and the gathering near the parking lot. Every so often he smiles. A second man, taller and skinnier than the first, sits on a dead tree a few feet away from him. He is wearing a blue jeans jacket and black corduroy pants. He drinks water quietly from a metal canteen and looks up at the mountain.
Towering above it all, the mountain appears to carefully observe these small beings that stand at its feet. It is crowned by a single wide peak and two smaller ones on either side. At the top, it is lightly touched by snow and ice, and several wide crevices, covered in tall trees and darkness, that extend all the way to the bottom. Columns of pine trees reach all the way to the edge of the huge rocks that surround the tallest summit. A sense of quiet purpose flows from the top, all the way to the two men, the clearing, the field and the people in the parking lot. A sporadic flashing light cuts through the silent twilight of the forest every so often, twinkling rhythmically with a simple ancient form of communication.
The two men look around themselves and at each other, and they calmly wait, breathing slowly.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Endless School

The hallways extend in all directions, connected by stairways and ramps. Each hallway is lined with doors that lead to classrooms. There is a constant noise that swarms through the place, bouncing off the walls, seeping through little holes, taking sharp turns around corners. The walls are of different colors, some white, some blue, some bright red. The stairways are all metallic silver. No area is the same as another. The colors and turns intersect in unpredictable ways and form new structures in every direction. Most of the doors are closed, each with a number and a bulletin board to the right, most of them empty. There is a sense of a crowd but no sign of it, loose words and laughter flash through the noise here and there but nobody can be seen walking through the halls, up the stairways or into the rooms.
The building complex sits on top of a large grassy hill and continues inside of it. The structure extends under the earth and pokes out from gaps here and there, along the slopes of grass and between little patches of tall ancient trees. A wide concrete stairway cuts the hill in two and leads to a center plaza, a round space covered in concrete with a tall single sculpture at its center. The sculpture is a very abstract representation of a man with arms extended upwards. It towers over the plaza impressively, at least 30 feet tall. At its base there is a large bronze metal plaque that says "above" in a vast number of languages and alphabets. From afar the surface of the sculpture seems to be light gray, up close, it has a slightly green color.
The large central stairway leads to a secondary building complex at the bottom. Its first level is lined with glass doors, all of them closed and dark. Its second level is twice the height of the first one and it is made of a single large window that acts as a huge mirror, reflecting the buildings above it. There are further stairways on either side that continue moving downward. Inside the main building there is large lobby, with couches and tables. There are newspapers still open and scribbled post it notes scattered over the tables. Wooden doors to the south lead to a small movie theater. The main screen is blank but the projector is on, spilling pure light onto the white surface. There is a book open on the podium and a stack of papers on a small table to the right.
To the left of the screen, there is a small doorway. It leads to a dark staircase going downward. It ends in an even darker hallway, where the walls are painted black and the only light comes from small lights that are over 50 feet apart from each other. Beside each light is a door, unmarked and locked. The hallways extends back into the depths of the hill. As it reaches deeper, the air becomes more oppressive and the walls are covered in moisture. The sound of the crowd above is deafening, almost making the ceiling shake, and it is contrasted with tiny drops of water that echo with a bright crystalline clarity.
At the very bottom of the hill, the hallway opens up into a circular room. There are three other long hallways extending away from this room. In the very center, there is small pool. Above the pool, the ceiling is open and it extends upwards as a smooth concrete cylinder. In the center of the pool, there is a small concrete pedestal and on top of it, a golden chalice full of blood. On its side there is a large bronze metal plaque that says "below" in a vast number of languages and alphabets. The noise that extends through the whole underground seems to be loudest in this place, resonating through the cement cylinder that extends up towards the plaza and the tall sculpture above.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Powder Room

An archway leads from the main chamber to the bath and powder room. Just beyond its semi elliptical frown, the mirror shimmers, reflecting the world it can see, perfectly inverted. Around its edges, titian and cream colored seashells are arranged, framing the view. A large starfish adorns the counter, flanked on both sides by more ruffled seashells. Its top is void of cosmetics. Only a silver handled comb and hair brush lie waiting, attended by a row of empty perfume bottles fashioned of crystal and Egyptian glass. A velvet upholstered antique stool adds it’s own flourish to the baroque powder room. It is invitingly large, it’s fawn colored cushion, rectangular in shape, suggests that more than one lady could sit here if necessary. The cast iron legs bow flamboyantly, looking as if they wish to clearly demonstrate that they have held the weight of elegant women for at least the last hundred years. The bath is beside the powder room, through another open doorway. There is a Roman air about it, not only because it is larger than necessary for a solitary bather, but also because of the manner in which it is set in the floor, in the center of the room. The tiles are all white with blue designs like Dutch delftware. There are steps built inside the bath, like the steps of a swimming pool. They extend around the entire perimeter of the bath, which, like the stool and mirror in the powder room, is rectangular. The entire space seems to be designed for lounging both in and out of the bath. Tile settees are positioned with the walls as backings. Fresh towels and white terry cloth robes hang plentifully from ornate hooks on the walls. An additional surplus is folded and stacked on one of the four settees. They have been carefully laundered so that they are soft and springy to the touch and smell of unscented detergent. In the main chamber, the carpet is a pearly mocha shag which extends into the powder room. There are a pair of complimentary dressers, one tall and one short, both simple and unassuming in appearance. Fashioned of a dark stained wood they rest against their respective walls hugging their empty drawers and looking important. The short one is wider and supports a mirror. Strings of glass beads hang from the mirrors corners, (it too is rectangular). Both dressers are home to doilies, books of pressed flowers, and decoratively placed pearls. An antique crystal chandelier hangs from the ceiling catching the light and transforming it into glittering butterflies. It’s lead crystals are amber hued. The bed is big and well dressed in a subtle paisley and tone-on-tone diamond jacquard comforter peeled back to reveal Egyptian cotton sheets. The thread count is high enough that they shine like ivory satin. In their tangled midst, nestled among the strewn pillows, two figures negotiate their positions in relation to one another. The man is both muscular and pudgy with the strength of a wrestler. His sandy colored hair has been buzz cut so that the rolls of flesh at the nape of his neck are visible when he moves his head. His buttocks appear to be a little flat and a long lions tale extends from above the crack. Completely nude, he alters his position as coerced by the woman who motivates him by rubbing between his legs until she can hold his erect penis in her hand and stroke it. The long blond hair cascading over her shoulders teases his skin. The bright red lipstick painted on her supple lips contrasts with the lavender corset and thong that squeezes her breasts to attention while leaving her soft rear exposed. Their negotiations are difficult and quarrelsome. A steel sword rests against the bedside, it’s point sinking into the shag.