Saturday, June 20, 2009

I am the building

I am made of false brick. I have three floors. I wish I was sold to a wealthy businessman to refurbish me. But now my pieces are taken by various people not caring about me as a whole, but caring about my separate corners which now belong to them.

I am a tired being. I am both functionless and functioning. I am functionless because these different people who have nothing in common with each other have paralyzed me with their mixture of diversity and on the other hand I’m functioning because I’m now always noisy, chaotic, changing. As if they live over my dead body. Even a stray dog is attached to me and birds have nests in my window corners.

Let me tell you something. My hatred towards these people, my inhabitants, is overcome by compassion. I feel sorry for them. They are like ants dwelling in me. I am the only place for them. They live in me and they earn money with me. They rent me out. They sell things from me. They play in me. But they sustain me. They take care of me as far as I am need to them individually.

Nora, she is so caring. Her flat on my second floor is always clean. And items in her shop at the entrance door are always neatly arranged. Someone broke a window of her shop recently. How cruel. Must have been one of those young men playing cards in my hall every evening. They are the only ones not earning anything. Just spending on slot machines, gambling.

Someone trying to earn money is Nana. She lives on my third floor. She moved just recently and covered up my broken windows with polyethylene. Nana owes money to Nora and works next to her, in the restaurant which is my core, a fabulous construction of a soviet designer. Life must have been happy then. Or at least they were pretending that life was happy then. Now everyone confesses that life is a disaster. The meaning of it is to eat and die. Well ok, there’s some joking sometimes.

Tsatsia is the main joker, Nana’s companion. She loves to make explicit jokes. Dying her hair blond she still considers herself sexual, this short woman. Nana and Tsatsia together look like a puzzle that will never go together. Well, my whole inhabitants are like that puzzle. They have nothing in common accept that they are all poor. That is what unites them, something very basic and I myself, once being a hotel, have now become basic - a basic place for survival.

(working paper from project 'Restaurant Bakhmaro and Those Who Work There' aka 'The Building...')