Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One Wall

Most corners of rooms are right angles.

The window on the west wall looks over the Jackson’s house. Miss Jackson’s son, Rocky, was the first person I met when we moved in 10 years ago. I haven’t seen him since. He drove a 70s Charger. I still reference him, if I need to show community spirit.

A mile past the Jackson’s house is Bishop O’Dowd. The east side of their football stadium is visible from the window. On Sundays in the fall, you can hear rumblings of football games. My son may attend O’Dowd, if I can get over the Catholic thing.

5 miles past O’Dowd is the Oakland airport. Planes are silhouettes when viewed from the window. A lot of drama happens between our window and the Oakland airport. We’re kind of drama free except for the yearly break-in.

Attached to the window is a grey wall. Karl, Alex’s brother, painted it. After 10 years, the upper half of the wall has developed a transparent quality, the white paint from its former self exposed. It’s either the result of bad paint or mold. Like a letter from the IRS, I don’t like looking at it. It represents trouble.

Below the window is a small book case that I got at Thrift Town in Fremont. I’m not a fan of most bookcases, but this one is ok. It’s packed with books, the overflow stacked on top and in front. Most of the books are of the non-fiction, contemporary history or sociology ilk. There’s some literature, but that’s not my thing. They’re there for pretention.

On the hardwood floors next to the window is a side table. I got it at a St. Vincent De Paul in Oakland on San Leandro Boulevard. Like lots of other thrift stores, it’s no longer there. I got it with another side table. Both are marked Made in Denmark. This is a good thing if I ever want to resell it. However, like everything I own, it’s a bit flawed.

On the face of the table is a 90s TV. Something is wrong with it. Any time you cough or move, horizontal lines appear. I’ve checked the cables and connections and they’re secure, so it must be the TV. It’s annoying, but I only watch baseball games on it, when my wife is monopolizing the good TV.

Next the TV is my dresser. I got it at Thrift Town in San Leandro. Like the side table, it’s Danish. But it’s from the 70s so it’s a piece of crap, but it’s big and can hold a lot of socks, underwear, t-shirts and jeans. I tried sprucing it up, filling in dents with putty and staining blemishes, but I failed miserably. When it leaves me, it will go for less than 10 dollars to another sucker who is enamored by the Danish mystique.

On top of the dresser is a pile of clothes that is waiting to be put away. Depending on many variables, they could be there for months. Behind them, leaning against the grey wall, is two pieces of art: the first is a painting on wood of a British bobby. Part of the painting is carved, accenting creases in the ears and facial lines. It’s a nice touch. The artist is names Marco Cibali – something like that. He’s from Toronto and pays the bills with commercial design. Lots of artists are pragmatic like that.

Next to Marco is a photograph by Loretta Lux, a German artist. Loretta was very popular back in 2002, when her first USA show at Yossi Milo in NYC sold out immediately. I was lucky enough get a small print of a not-so popular piece. The piece is of a young girl in vintage turquoise clothing, waving like David Bowie on the cover of Heroes. The subject I wanted went to people with connections.

The Lux was prominently hung in our living room for years. Not sure why it’s now leaning against a wall in the bedroom.

Hanging on the wall next to the Lux photograph is a photograph by Zoe Strauss, a punk ass, poorly dressed (more on this later) lesbian street photographer from Philly. This photo is of an abandoned hotel in post Katrina Louisiana. On the outer balcony of one of the upper floors, someone spray-painted “Mom. We’re OK.” Besides the message, it’s a very architectural photo. I like it a lot.

Zoe was featured in the 2002 Whitney Biennial in NYC. Before the event, she appeared on TV’s What Not to Wear. I guess she needed something to wear and had no idea of going about it. I suspect she’s back to her disheveled ways.

Also on the dresser is a ball the size of a hacky sack, pictures of our deceased animals, ashes of our deceased animals, strewn change and a jewelry box from my father. At the base of the dresser is launder clothes, stacked on a dining room chair. It’s almost like a piece of furniture,

This is just one wall in our room.

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