Monday, May 2, 2005

a play of 3 acts

The curtains open and the play begins.

Act 1

It was a rainy day yesterday. The streets are still wet and the air is fresh. Wandering around this grid of concrete is only fitting for setting the mood of what is to follow. The large mass of vegetation in the middle of this brick forest is supposed to calm the soul and alleviate the stress of urban lifestyle. Instead what it accomplishes is to remind the average pedestrian on its narrow asphalt trails that there is really nowhere to run. You may have your little coral and castle in your aquarium, but around you are still glass walls. Right next to this little oasis is one of few collections of art. Unfortunately for the art, it has to sit through hordes of visitors that lack the patience or interest to have a decent conversation with it. Instead it whores itself in an oblique
pretense of culture that at times reflects the nature of its owners a little more than they would like to.
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Following was an exploration of culinary delights. The decadence of what used to be the centre of glamour shows right away in the once marvelous underground station turned restaurant and home to sub-par sea-food under the guise of haute-cuisine. The red-white checkerboard table-cloths were a nice touch. Showing once again that no matter how deep underground you try to hide, you can always feel like you’re at a picnic table unpacking food from your saran wrapping.

The highlight, good albeit short, was polluting the body and mind with alcoholic beverages at an establishment that is named after the famous communist newspaper ‘Pravda’. This place, of course, reflects what the Bolsheviks tried to accomplish perfectly. It serves very good caviar and their wide selection of martinis and high-class vodkas are what every hard working factory worker and farmer should aim for! Well done Pravda!

Act 2

As if foreshadowing what is to come, the day started with a cloudy sky and pouring rain. Fittingly, after an incessant and unsuccessful search for the most necessary component of a complete breakfast (coffee so strong that it pumps your blood pressure through the roof and fills your bladder faster than you can spot a bathroom), the hollow space that once used to house thousands of people, made itself visible. The ‘don’t cheapen this site’ and collection of confused/disappointed observers/gawkers made for an interesting commentary of the impact it has on society.

This is a picture of a Mamiya C99 TLR camera. It is special because it does not exist. I’m sure you don’t believe me so I invite you to go ahead and try digging up information about this model. It sits there looking at you as much as you are looking at it. The only difference is: it is safe. I am not.

Later that night the rain was pouring still. Fighting your way through hordes of people and doormen has a certain sense of accomplishment. Once passed that initial obstacle, the circus was to begin. Music, alcohol, people, lights, movement, sweat, tremors, stage, smoke… in short, everything one would wish for in an otherwise rainy night. I never imagined how easy it is to go from one state of mind to another and in such a short amount of time. A short glimpse is all it took. Unfortunately alcohol was not served anymore at that late hour, so my double shot of jack did not come when it was most needed. With a rushing mind it is better to let the body just continue what it was doing. Can’t do anything rash or you might regret it later.

Sometimes when the question is not asked, your mind does not bother answering it, so you end up living in this utopia of bliss where there is no need for an answer because there was never need for the question. But then the answer is forced upon you. You come to realize what you have been postponing and ignoring since the start. You just hoped it was nothing. Nothing… but then in one instant you realize you do care. It does affect you. So how do you react to that? You make the best of it. It is never anybody’s fault. There is no one to blame. So the best thing to do is to communicate the situation. Communication is always better than lack of thereof. So that happened here as well. That was the highpoint of communication that was reached. The most sincere and direct way. Now back to the play, the third and final act is next, and the crescendo has already passed. What follows is just a gradual decline.

Act 3

Started with beautiful weather, sunny day and blue skies, in contrast to the general mood the ‘lack of sleep’ has set for the day.
A mask such as this Welder’s mask in the Museum of Modern art reflects the state of mind one had to be in today.

In everything you looked at, the only thing you could see was the inside of your mind reflecting back like in a mirror split in hundreds of little pieces of all shapes and sizes.

Our good friend Marcel’s Bicycle Wheel was a poignant reminder of how things move constantly, but essentially remain rooted in the same place.

The clouds finally covered the otherwise beautiful sky of this morning, obstructing the sun, only leaving few rays to shine through.

Close curtain


A change of setting and atmosphere is near. In addition to keeping your mind off of things, it also provides with new perspectives. Sitting still and knowing for a fact that nothing will be moving or talking around you for as long as you sit can be a blessing as much as it can be a curse. It is however a natural progression of this here play. You can leave the theater now, go back to your families and sleep tightly in your beds with the reassuring thought that it was only a stage act. Adieu mes amies.