Behind us, empty chemistry labs and incubators await tomorrow’s progress. Across the road, ahead of us, tilted tombs reel from the earth, their encryptions weathered, reduced to runes beneath the trees, in the shadows, beneath the wheels, the squeal of brakes, the fizz of rubber tyres, life moves fast.
We change through the gears, shifting up, shifting down, raising ourselves out of the seats, leaning into what’s coming, uncertainty curdling our bellies.
We dip beneath the flats above and emerge on concrete flags, disoriented, the labyrinth coils around us. We ascend, traverse, descend. There, beyond this elevated first floor walkway, beyond the swaying summer leaves and the railings, is Upper Brook Street, the traffic heavy and insistent. There, beyond the slabs and crosses are the laboratories and the offices, the union halls and theatres, the horns and the engines. Her face inches from mine, her ear pressed against a glass pressed against a wall, she hears its secrets sing and she speaks them out to me, some whispered, some declared. In this room, where the wallpaper hangs from a different era, from a different colour scheme of mind, she speaks the secrets in its walls, channels the details, abstract, of a thousand lives lived between them. Her words, the words from the walls, like clothes to wear, they fit us all. Beyond her staring eyes, beyond her shoulder… the leaves and the railings, the sirens and the engines.
We walk from one room to another, down tight external stairways, rough brick, concrete, up again, ascend, descend. We lie back on unmade beds and try to salvage the dregs of our dreams, put them into words: maybe this will make them real. We try to remember. In this room the leaves rustle closer up against the windows. The wind blows through them. We try to remember. We step in and out of the rooms, between the walls, between times, between lives, thumbing through the scrapbook of interiors – the swatch of brown wallpaper, tiny white flowers, obsolete, obscure… bringing tears to my eyes. We try to remember. But it’s just out of reach.
Behind us, behind our backs, the city blinks, twitches, winks and snaps, flexes, gurns, yawns, transforms: I’m not yours, I’m not yours.
The Shrine of Everyday Things
Contact Young Company
Off Upper Brook Street
July 22nd, 2015