One of my favourite poems from a listen to sense can be had here. It’s Gertrude Stein doing her, ’ If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso’ bit. If I told him would he like it? Would I like it if I told him? .. and so on. Very melodical.
It would be true to say that in some small ways I have changed during the course of this year, and one of those is to do with public toilets. I used to be rather easily distracted from the business at hand and sometimes I would end up not being able to go at all.
However lavatories here are such noisy, busy places that one must simple adapt or perish (from bladder explosion or urea poisoning or some such). There will literally be these old women mopping around your feet while ur taking a slash. Those old women remind me of the little maintenance dudes from Cloud City in Empire Strikes Back – Ugnaughts.
I missed a photo opportunity the other week coming out of a subway station, on the escalator, there were these three cleaning women, all dressed similar, and looking similar. They were cleaning the ‘inner wall’ part of the escalator, the silverish metal part below waist height, if you are of a relatively normal height.
At about ten step intervals, each of the three got on the escalator, and applied a cleaning cloth to the siding with both hands while assuming a slightly bent down, athletic pose – one foot on one step the next on one higher. I was standing about 5 steps ahead of them and got this beautiful multiples & perspective view looking back at them. Reminded me a little of the original Tour de France Kraftwerk cover – with the four cyclists.
I even had the camera, but am too slow and too timid to start snapping and strangers.
Someone could start machine-gunning behind me these days, and I could keep peeing. It’s general knowledge that the private is very public here.
After I’d been to my places of business I went back down into the subway and again saw the three cleaning women on an ascending escalator, still ten steps apart and facing forward, but now they were holding and eating souvlakis, laughing and smiling. Which kind of ruined the mental flavour of what they were about for me. Oh how I wish that were true.