Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Plaza

The early evening light is the palest of blues. It marks closing time, the end of another cycle of light, to be replaced by twelve hours of darkness. The sun has just begun to fall behind the wall of straight buildings. Dozens and dozens of them make the city skyline. There are the large mirrored homes of finance that reach towards the clouds, the more squat government buildings and the high-rise condos marked on each level by balconies. Interspersed among the modern buildings are the few brick constructions that have managed to survive earthquakes and fires. Adorned with the marks of their craftsmen, they contrast with the straight, sleek lines of modern architecture.
Cutting through the clustered marks of men are geometrical streets. Black and marked with yellow lines, the roads sit without the faintest curve, providing only 90 degree angles in evenly divided intervals. The low golden sun shines against the reflected glass of the downtown buildings like light on sequins, calling out for one last acknowledgment before it says goodnight. Ample rectangles and squares shine like electric gold with its last rays.
The downtown streets are bustling. Men in dark tailored suits and women wearing black heels and fitted skirts flow out of the buildings and into the crowded sidewalks. They are like rivers that ebb and flow with the alarm clock’s set intervals.
In the middle of the financial center is a large cement plaza. The periphery of the plaza is a single row of green grass and sparsely planted trees that are thin and tall as some of the shortest buildings. Two sides of the plaza have buildings that create a wall behind it, but the other two connected sides are open and face two streets perpendicular from each other.
One of the open sides has a single doorway with an open wrought iron gate. The doorway is made of stacked rocks and mortar, but the long walls around it have fallen long ago, leaving only the frame of the doorway and the tall gate itself.
The flow of business people walk through the square diagonally, coming from the corner beside the wall and the street and flowing out through the wrought iron gate. Close to the center of the plaza is a young blond woman with a microphone. She is talking and pointing to the moveable statue of a thick man with a trombone held to his mouth. Coming out of the trombone is a large fake tuna fish. A small crowd of business people are gathered around the woman and the statue. They are laughing at each pause in her speech, nearly doubling over with her jokes.

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