Sunday, April 24, 2005
A Mountain Of Things
I found myself trudging along down the ever ending network of corridors, flinging open the rows of doors that lined the sides, trying to find my way, by habit and memory alone, through the darkness that filled the air around me. Only the smallest amount of light had found its way in between the gaps in the various curtains that hung along the side walls, lighting up dust particles floating through the air. I eventually stopped my searching at the end of a particularly long and narrow corridor, the thick dust that filled every cube of space slowly cleared so that I could at last make out the faint outline of a cupboard and the jutting shape of its door handle. I have come thus far into the untouched areas of this labyrinthine dwelling in order to at last start afresh and not again to dwell upon the past and be confined by the melancholy of this space, I told myself. After several tries I gained what looked like the correct key from the iron ring attached to my belt and tried it in the hole. As I turned it against the resistance forged by its years of unmoving rigidity, like stiff bones it cracked in stubborn jutted movements to the half past the hour mark. I felt a jolt as the key scraped past an obstacle and into a comfortable slot and it was like the door has come to life and was now free to open. Pulling the heavy wooden door towards me caused a semicircle of ploughed dust particles uncovering a rich and colourful pattern on the once grey carpet. Tugging against the friction of it and forcing it back with both hands I at last was able to lean and peer inside this forgotten vestige of my interior. I gasped in horror at what I saw, standing back in order to fully appreciate the size and complexity of the structure that was heaped there in the darkness before me. Years of disregarded fragments had seemingly congealed together to form a mass which had completely overtaken the ironing board and other cleaning utensils which for centuries must have been settled peacefully in this long forgotten place. And to my surprise and disgust the heaped collection of things began to move forwards using an odd motion clinging or sucking itself to the ground to maintain its upright form. How the circular bowls and boxes half filled with nails and bits of ripped clothes, the old letters half torn and fretted at the edges, crumpled paper and broken canvas frames fitted together to give the creature structure was unclear to me. I braced myself against the side wall, hands grasping at the door rail as the mountain of objects slowly heaved itself past my trembling body and across the floor, its shape and form seeming to change and reconstruct with each movement it made. My possessions arranged about the floor were strangely attracted to it's large mass and began to move towards it of their own accord as the thing made it's way slowly past, strangely energized by some magnetic power. Slowly it slugged its huge bulk past me giving me no notice and heading away down the corridor growing steadily larger in the process. My eyes stared at this strange nocturnal animal as it started, in its own way, to digest the objects that lay about it and across its path. I looked back into the cupboard, nothing at all, they had all come out. For how many years had I neglected this particular area of the building and had unknowingly let the situation develop towards this perverse state of affairs?