At 7:55 everymorning I sit down at my little table for two, munch on a piece of toast, sip some instant copy and look out the window — across the way at the Doosan. It’s a Kubrick style monolith. It’s big and it skews the perspective of distance from here to there. The scale is all wrong.
Sometimes I imagine a bomb or a missile landing at the base, then wonder how far it would come down toward me.
The whole situation leaves me quietly but intensely aware of frames. Frames, dividers, rectangles, boundaries, parallel lines and 90° angle corners.
This last five mornings a vehicle flashed it’s hazard lights eleven times at five-second intervals.
He quickly became poderous to me because on only the second occasion of our meeting, after a quick hello, he immediately asked if I had any gum and did so in a way that made me feel relieved to the very core that I did.
I’d ask, “So what you been up to today?” as I did of most people. Most people would say some thing or another, this or that, one thing maybe. I myself often reply to that question with, “this and that”. But this fellow would routinely list out in order the events of his day up to the moment — he would always end with, “…and that’s about when I got here”. These catalogues weren’t to the painfully minute detail, but they weren’t ‘this and that’ either.
He had this military-style buzz-cut which made him look like Neal Cassidy.
Once I told him that I’d just bought a vacuum cleaner, which was true. He told me that he’d once worked as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman for 2 weeks, selling machines (I forget the brand) that cost $1800 but had still managed to sell four. He’d throw salt on the carpet and ask them to pick it up with their present cleaner.
The days and nights are shifting faster than I ever thought was possible. I watch as sunlight fades and is haphazardly replaced by dozens of compartmentalised sets of flouro-tubes. Some come on, others off. Then most of them wink out and shortly after the sun rises.
Once it rained for a month solid. The gap from here to there filled up 12 feet high with muddy water. Someone lent us a dingy, so me and the old lady next door could get where we were going. A gentle nudge from the second floor steps was all it took to get going. The only places I ever needed to go were work and the autoteller. The old lady just went over the submerged road to the temple to click rhythm sticks with the monk. Her minidog would yap continuously, I’d pat it on the head, it’s quiet then start yapping again. Budda loved it.
Then one day night became stuck and permanent.
“Sometimes I get these random streams of words flow through my mind. They aren’t familiar – I hadn’t heard them earlier that day. I don’t fancy it was my voice saying them. More like a radio dial slowly twisted from one channel to the next.”
people lived in pits
“I think they’re trying to tell me something.”