Monday, October 10, 2005

Castaway Things. (Coffee with the Devil, 3.5)

They didn't see her, right? The thought is quickly pressed away as she flees from the spot. Close call.

She is overly cheerful, as she makes her way through the streets. She even smiles at the market-vendor as she palms an orange, a mango and a banana, slipping them unseen between her clothes. Then, she heads towards a spot near the park, one overlooking it, from the heights of the steel girders of a bridge. Nothing happened, she tells herself. She was quick enough, as always.

Tonight, she will go to that large hall in that part of town where it's always noisy, not of people, but the mechanical noise of machines. There is a building there, it's walls made of thin metal plates, like it could be blown away in a storm. It was once a warehouse, a past betrayed by the leftover wooden crates, scattered throughout the space. It is high, and has been empty for a long time.

Every once in a while, she goes there, when the young people gather. There is no system, no regularity at all, but she knows when they'll be there. She feels a buzz in the city all day, increasing as twilight falls.

They will not start until long past dark, so she waits. When it's time, she climbs up the side of the building, and enters through a broken window. She already felt the deep, low throb from outside, in her belly. Climbs up more, until she is high inside, near the roof, up in the rafters. From here, she can see the whole room.

The people come here to listen to the city speak. She feels sorry for them, because they cannot hear the city properly. They need these large boxes, out of which the city's sounds pour and blow. It is loud, very loud. Crude. Almost all of them stand facing these boxes, their bodies moving to the city's song. It is like the song she keeps in her small white box, but vastly different. She likes the sounds. It is a different side of the city, younger yet much older. Cymbals crash, unfamiliar electronicals fly high and swoop low, the bass engulfs her. The heartbeat is overwhelming, and steady, all night long.

She enjoys watching them move, as if they answer the song with the movement of their bodies. Somehow, it seems much more pure, more intense than what they ever could express in words. She is glad to see people that love the city as much as she does, in their own way.

They go on all night, and she is entranced. She has played with the idea of joining them, but knows that she shall never. Instead, she just watches, and smiles.

She is happy, too, that this building is not forgotten, like so many. She knows that some of these people here, work hard to find other forgotten places and make them alive again. It is a way of life that echoes throughout all they do, and the way they look. Finding old, castaway things, sounds, buildings, and giving them a new life.

The way they transform this space is amazing to her. Usually, this is an empty, barren space, oppressing with it's size. Now, they have colored lights, cloths, people playing with fire, tents put up inside. Even the building itself seems to be celebrating.

Then, she sees him, the young man, in a flash, a face in the crowd. She ducks away, but realizes he probably cannot see her. He looks different, happy and worried at the same time, and like he cannot reach any of those feelings properly. He is here to forget something, she thinks, and, like the rest, to pay tribute to the city. She follows him with her eyes for a long time, until the monotone hard beat lulls her into sleep.

Sudden absence of sound wakes her up. Through a dirty roof-window, the morning sun has risen already. She looks down, and sees people scattering, running, and men in blue and black, with helmets and shields and clubs and dogs enter. Some people are caught, and beaten. The boxes through which the city speaks are taken away. She suddenly realizes her fingers hurt, as she is trying to dig her nails deep into the steel beam, and a soft, low growl comes from her chest. She wants to go down, enraged at the interruption, but realizes that will not do anything. She will just be beaten, like the others.

She watches the whole scene, until all is quiet and empty. The young man is gone, too. She doesn't understand why those men wanted them to stop. She doesn't understand why they thought it necessary to fight for that. Not quite crying, she falls asleep again.


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