Wednesday, October 03, 2007

the day before Taipei

One memory from the summer: going to the ICA with Joe and Chris towards the end of our residency at Fenway. It was a crisp, sunny morning and a spontaneous trip; Joe said "there's dancing," Chris and I said "let's go," and we stepped into the heels of our sneakers and walked through a mini-architectural tour of Boston (commentary provided by the boys) stopping long enough to be denied entry into the conference center across the highway. "What's the point of having a gorgeous building like that," Joe muttered, "if the public can't come in and appreciate it?"

We ran across six empty lanes of highway to the art center, where blue-and-gray dancers were undulating through the building, sweating slightly as they weaved arms before the windows, slapped palms under the staircase with a synchronized sticking sound, and rolled down the entry ramp flapping brown skirts behind them. We watched the dance twice, stopping into the gift shop in between. As the dancers swam off the stairs for the last time, we clambered onto them in time to avoid the first raindrops striking down onto the new wooden deck.

I crouched in the staircase hollow at first, sunken in a gravelly recess so that I was eye-level to the ground, watching the rain splatter cross-section. Chris stood on the outdoor stairs, shielded by the jutting overhang of the building that covered an entire back plaza. Rain rolled fat down the glass highway that covered the entire side of one wall and misted off the deck, sending spray and the smell of the sea to cling lightly to our shirts.

The glassy ocean turned into rough silk; thick fronds of moss brushed it from below, a neon orange buoy pinned it from above, tearing a white rent into the fabric of the water as it waved by. A poem about Orpheus was frosted onto a glass panel that stood at the edge of the water. You could peer through it at the albino-white buses parked across the way, rain streaming from the bright red eyes of their lights, steaming. The rain scoured and scrubbed and swept your lungs with calming cool when you inhaled, out, in, out with the breath of the wind.

When the clouds had hung themselves out to dry and were languidly dripping gray through a number of rainbows, we sloshed through the flooded parking lot in carefully dry sneakers and admired the whirlpool vortices that had placed themselves in precise crystal miniature above the four holes of a closed manhole.

More architecture - this time the world trade center - that we couldn't access, but we ran across a wedding party and a system dynamics conference prep session instead, stuffed bags, took a program with paper abstracts back with us to the bus and then the train to Central square, where we shared Tibetian food and then split, stomachs full of buttered tea and hot lentils.

Chris went to work. Joe and I aimed for the garment district but ended up packing laptops in bubble wrap at the OLPC office instead. Joe hoisted the large bundle onto his right arm, I strapped the yellow kite-bag to my shoulder, and we walked back to the mural-painted walls of Fenway talking about sports bras, hyperbolas, heavy-duty zippers. That was the afternoon, and that was the day, and I went to Taiwan the next morning.

Just a series of moments I wanted to remember, or at least mark down in passing.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Haha. I remember that day - twas quite fun ^_^

On a similar note, tis strange to read about yourself and things you have done from someone else's perspective. Hope all is going well!