Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nary Ordinary

Before or after noon the other day, I sat in the shade of a high-rise while I waited for my shift to begin and I couldn’t help underhear a conversation from some contractors. They must have been working on one of the surrounding buildings and they were huddled together for lunch boisterously talking about various matters. While I listened, I was astonished at the topic of the conversation. They were debating how the geometrical shapes of sandwiches dictated the manner by which they are eaten. I thought this was perfect. I was imagining them working, performing their tasks within the spaces dictated by the design of the structures, working within cramped confines, managing to accomplish what is often the mechanically miraculous, riveting steel beams, connecting the elaborate circuitry of electrical lines, linking and sealing the pipes so water flows freely from a faucet 200 feet above the ground, assembling and maintaining the man-made mountains. Then all this work is sealed within walls so it isn’t even noticed and the walls are polished with a streamlined finish to avoid the slightest drag in the activities of the offices, conference rooms, convention halls and cafeterias. Their lively debate was an exposition in the essence of orientation and practical application like the spaces stacked in the buildings that climb into the sky.

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