Friday, February 17, 2012
The building has the aesthetic of 70s style architecture with flat rooftops and minimal flair, a structure that does not hide its boxiness, but rather flaunts it. It is an apartment building with about 60 individual units organized into three structures of 30 apartments each. The three distinct box-shaped areas are pushed together like cluster squares; from above, they look like a disjointed letter T. Each building has three stories. Along the edge of each level is a hallway-balcony in front of the doors that lead to each unit, a style popular in motels across the United States. The hallway/balcony is about four feet wide and has a three foot tall black iron fence which delineates the edge.
The building is constructed and decorated with differing shades and types of wood. The front doors of each unit are a deep cherry wood which are trimmed along the edges with a paler blond wood with a glossy veneer. The walls of the building which face the balcony are lined with alternating planks of wood, each with a unique wood grain and color. Each is shined to perfection.
I am standing on the balcony of the third story and look down from what seems like a great distance. Earth is not below, rather, I see a ragged reef of huge gray and white boulders with waves that lap against their sides.
The assemblage of rocks stretches into the distance and fades into the horizon. The ocean water is a mixture of different colors, in places looking dark blue, in others spotted with turquoise. White surf spreads along the edges of the boulders. From where I stand, it looks like sea and stone, dry land is a memory. Some of the giant rocks are in a haphazard circle and have created small, protected swimming holes delineated from the larger sea. I can see three people in one of the swimming holes. From where I stand, their bodies are small as dust.
I hold on to the balcony railing, afraid I will somehow fall off and into the water. My knuckles are pale and my hands dig into the blunt edges of the metal bars. It seems like the entire complex is tipping, like at any moment my feet might come off the ground and only my grip can protect me from flipping out and crashing into the rocky water below.