Wednesday, 27 January 2010


I am carrying a rolled up blue mattress under my arm. It is tied up with a belt. When the belt is exactly half-way along the lengthwise of the mattress I can use the belt as a handle and hook my fingers under the rim of it, the smooth leather on the outside, the rougher leather on the inside where I pull it away from its contact with the blue material. The mattress for a while is perfectly balanced, wavering and tipping in the breeze but never falling so completely into one end or the other so as to pull into gravity. The baggage is a rolled up version of itself, the inner and outer ranging between the first roll and the last tuck caught and secured by the pull of the belt. It is a suitcase to be navigated along the narrow lane. Past the prison walls and housing clusters designed to detract from the stark fact of that gate that only opens and locks. Traffic is on the road. Well that is nothing new. I wait for the pockets of space between each engine blast. It's in the pockets that I nearly reel over no longer enfolded in the buffering of sound and fume. The bundle tilts haphazardly. I dare to go. I dare the traffic. In the slithers of vacancy, reeling from momentum, I stop/start with the bundle under my arm like moving up a hill and falling down again between the vehichles.

At the door, I open it, go inside have a look around. Leaflets scattered on the counter a bit of a mess.
The thud of base and rattle of snares comes up the narrow staircase or is it through the walls? It seeps through the space. The office door is closed. No one leaves their desk. Well one person does cross the corridor that I am going down but they seem not to notice or maybe they are not bothered. Am I an intruder or a guest? I can't tell. I don't feel like either. I am running dangerously close to the stair-well. To that sound of drum and base. I could easily be pulled down the stairs but hesitate and veer into the coloured mass beyond the open door to the left. It is startling and arresting. It is the studio. There are kings and queens on the walls made up of tiny blots of colour that establish themselves and are the reason for each addititive in an extreme hue far from their range. Far from their place of origin. This proximity of difference collected within the confines of king and queen creates a reckless order. I look up into the bare bones of this desanctified castle or is it a church?. Cold walls. Soft plaster. I leave. Go into the cafe,  pass someone on the way through who nods and passes beyond the door into the office. I am left alone. There is a piano by the side. I open it. There is so much delay between the hitting of a note and the sound that finally rises up or does not, that it is hard to draw a conclusion about cause and affect. What act has made what thing to occur. There are tables and chairs everywhere and more pictures on the wall. I place my mattress on a table lengthwise its ends potruding off either side. I go into the heart of the room.  There are pictures of children with large faces painted by children. There are these spiral maps too like snail shells that are portioned off into little captioned squares that get smaller and smaller the more into the centre you go.

I go over to the counter. Used cups line the surface. There is a small transparent glass display area. The lights are shining on two Kit-Kats, four Mini Twix bars and two Flap-Jacks. There are some small chocolate cup cakes in a seperate white dish. There's  a coffee flask which has perculated coffee in its round bowl by the basin past the counter. It's quarter full. Two coffee mugs are by its side. I look at the coffee, look back into the room, walk around the wall display in between the assorted seating and tables. Stop. Look around. Face towards the office door. Stop. Move towards the table where my blue mattress is. Veer around. Walk back over to the counter. Stop. Look at the counter displays. Half-turn back out. Walk into the middle of the cafe. Stop. Turn back towards the counter. Look at the transparent glass bowl of coffee by the basin. Walk through the small gap between the  outside counter and the back of the wall towards the coffee. Select a mug from the wash-stand by the side of the basin. Pour a measured quarter cup of this light brown almost transluceint liquid. Move back around to the front of the counter. Look for milk on the counter. Do not find milk. Walk back over to a table and sit down facing the window with my back to the office door. Put my hands around the cup. Drink.

Then I do something else. I get up and walk back over to the counter, I put my hand around to the back of the counter and into the display area pull out one single Mini Twix. I enfold it into the palm of my hand, feel the celophane wraper snug against my centre-palm and I walk back over to the table where my coffee is.  Half way though drinking my coffee and eating my twix I hear the door to the office opening. As the door opens I stand up gradually and look into the spiral drawing over my head. The little figures in the compartments of the spiral are standing up, sitting down, moving to and fro. Then for the next few squares nothing much seems to happen and the box is empty or just has a simple grid of lots of dots and lines.
But maye I am wrong. Maybe something is happening here but I just can`t read it. Other figures soon emerge. Then drift back through into the dots and lines. As I look from picture to picture I see that they are all done in this way, some in elaborate colour, some in black and white. Simple and complex yet all done within the grid of these ever descending squares. Squares that spiral into the centre. It must have been the project on that day.

Footsteps end. Silence. A silence that extends into the space. Remaining. Footsteps lessening.
A door opens and closes.

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