Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sweet Spot

The beginning of your relationship with a building, with a thick sort of thing made of concrete and steel and brick, is exciting and troubled. Walking up to it, through the rain, the tension builds in your chest. You approach it slowly, wary, but pretending boldness. Your teeth are unconsciously clenched. Your ears and eyes are straining. You are trying to be observant. You want to understand the truth of the situation.

Once inside, it's a tightrope along the dark unknown floors. You clench close to your friend. You shuffle along, feeling for ledges and stairs with your toes. Out loud, like saying a prayer in public, you proclaim your love for the fear, for the excitement, the frontier. I love you, you say furtively. I believe we have some sort of chance here. I'm tougher than you, I'll fight you, but I don't want to.

And maybe it has nothing. Maybe all it has are unlit rooms, broken fluorescent lights, boring piles of debris. Maybe you are secretly disappointed in the place, and a little resigned, and a little let down. You make your way out with a feeling of calm dejection, deflation. You feel good for having braved the darkness, but it looks like it might not work out.

Then someone spots a door, and tries it. It's unlocked. And oh thank god, there's another chance.

As you climb the stairs, discovery grips you again. There's light coming through, and colors again, and the darkness lifts off your shoulders and chest like a thick cloak of rain burning off the sky. It's as if the place had to test you, and you passed, and suddenly you have reasons to smile again.
Sometimes walking into a new building, no, every time walking into a new building is exactly like walking into a museum.

It is almost a perfect first date. Adrenalin followed by quiet elation. It's that sweet spot between worlds, that builds like a favorite chord. Oh how many things we all have done to find that spot. Oh how many failures we've built around us, hoping for something to break down the wall, and then maybe it doesn't. But sometimes someone, something, some turn of events comes along and rescues you. Hope right? Isn't this what you fuckers are on about all the time? This chemical reaction to darkness followed by light? Your Computer having an equal and opposite reaction.

There should be a guidebook for people, How to Learn the Mild Magics.

So when we touched today, when we hugged, or you handed me my change for coffee, or you held my hand going up the wooden stairs, at those moments my entire chemical makeup was shifted oh so slightly. The songs I chose to listen to today. The words I chose to say to you. What you chose to say to me. Everything mapped out in the neurons of a brain that finds its greatest pleasure in this shifting of our physical reactions.

More photos from Master Screw here.


  1. "Hope right? Isn't this what you fuckers are on about all the time?"


  2. An English friend of mine sent me the link to this site this morning, and I thought that you might really enjoy it, if you've not seen it already (you have to ignore some of the stupid spelling/syntax errors in the text, but it's still quite engaging) -- http://www.derelictlondon.com/home_page.htm

  3. You are amazingly talented. I really mean that. Your photos and words are very moving. Has anyone ever told you that you have an old soul? Yeah, me neither.

  4. Thanks Tom!

    But also, I like to think of my soul as shiny and new.


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