Saturday, November 25, 2006
Behind Closed Doors
We live with the objects of our past; the worn out toys, ornaments that decorate the ledges and mantles of our rooms. Old clothes that remain at the end of the racks, compressed into the corners of our second-hand drawers. Items worn from trundling around with us everywhere, shuffling around from one rental room to another.
Books are piled up to keep the door open or to hold the computer screen at head height, else leaned on to form a shelf. These things induce the hoarders’ guilt of not wanting to give away or borrow for fear of loosing; feeling the urge to keep but not actually re-read. We create a familiar space, maintaining the order of a familiar world. Perhaps I delude myself that they will have some use some day in the future when I am dead and buried and gone.
Uncaring men or women wearing government uniforms will in the end be allowed to enter and clean the rooms, rendering my complex storage system that I have striven tirelessly to construct over the years meaningless. Unmarked trucks and cars will drive up next to the black mark scribbled on my door. A silhouette of cut-out people will be seen to fold out across the garden path, forming a chain. My things will trundle along from outstretched puppet arm to outstretched arm towards the back of the vehicles. When the job is done the men retract themselves backwards, clinging on as the vehicle bounces them back up the hill and away.
Due to a continuous neglect of layers, objects sink gradually downwards. They submerge and are gradually compressed into a peat bog of time. Nobody but the owner can prevent this process from happening. Particles dissolve to form a thick encrusted layer at the bottom. Dark figures pass through the drawers and cabinets snatching items and passing them from hand to hand, piling them up into a mountain of things. The tables finally begin to break, crumbling under the inevitable force of gravity; the slow motion demolition of a tower block, wavering awkwardly before finally crashing to the ground. What looks like a cloud of volcanic dust is in fact millions upon millions of human hairs drifts up, forming a dense cloud that disperses its content across a the wide area, killing the nutrients in the soil, spoiling the vegetation, killing the cattle for miles around.