Monday, September 26, 2011

House of mirrors

We were coming back from a guitar summer course, which had itself been a long complicated dream but now it was gone. Now we had taken only the first of several legs of the journey and had to stop at R's h house to pick the rest of our things and then catch a bus (or was it a train) to finally get home. We walked in from the rain and the gloom outside. I said to R we only just had time. I remembered that I had some more things there, a bag full of clothes (which I think were all my clothes in the world) plus of course I was carrying a rucksack and my guitar. I was wondering how I would manage to carry all that and started pouring contents of some bags into others, trying to reduce the number of items I would carry to a more reasonable number. Then R said he had to do a couple of things in the house and would come back in a whileI could if I wanted wander around the apartment. I was a bit concerned about missing the train, or was it a bus, but he said there would be another one soon, it didn't matter. And so he disappeared into the bowels of the flat. I waited for a while, taking in the enormous number of things in that room, what looked like objects d'art, sculptures, vases and the like. I decided I needed to go to the loo so I went to the next room, which was even more impressive. Predominantly free green and sort of velvety, with indirect lights, deep green sofas, paintings on the walls, the air of a museum or somewhere where very rich people lived in a house with so many rooms they seldom would visit them all. Maybe round that corner there would be a loo. There wasn't, only another room as impressive as this. An austere looking lady was standing there, looking at me reprovingly. I asked her where the loo would be. She said "ah, the .. visitor's washroom. This way". There were a series of extremely narrow doors along a wall, each talked by various things, like squares of leather hammered onto the strip of wall between doors. It was impossible that any of those was a loo door or any sort of real door, they were too narrow and there were so many of them. And I went dizzy as I couldn't count the doors, or something. I apologised to the lady but she'd gone. Ah, that is the door -that is a loo. But the room is way too narrow, I do not fit in there. And I do need to go to the loo. There, at the end. There is a loo there but it si open with a sort of division that doesn't separate it from the room and anyone could see you. I tried to close the plastic screen but to no avail, it wouldn't impede anyone from seeing me. And the toilet bowl was full and unflushed. Disgusting, I thought, and in such grand surroundings. No, I would look for a better one. So I looked around and left the room but by then the layout of the flat was so complex I was beginning to get lost. By chance I got back to the first room. Or was it the second. Ok, try again. And R is getting late, too. Maybe if I go this way, that smaller door might be a … no, it isn't,, instead it is a bedroom. What about around this corner. mHere there was a sort of music room and there were people in it. It felt more and more like a museum. There are string instruments and pianos, although on closer look it seemed to me like they either were art pieces rather than real instruments, or electronic instruments. The cellos -there were several of these- didn't have bows or eal strings, the strings were not whole but at the point where the bow would touch the strings there was a round metal plate with a couple of buttons. A couple of people were walking around or sitting looking at the display with a sort of reverence. Then this girl started to sing The Byrds' 'The Weight' and, for some reason, I joined along singing the vocal harmony. Could not remember the words so I was just humming and doing 'la, la' while she sang the words which I sometimes tried to follow too late. I could sing the exact notes of the descant, though, even though I hadn't heard that song for so many years. Then she finished and.. I didn't know what to say to her so I left the room. I started getting a little nervous about R being late and us missing the train. I wandered around the flat, immense and, now I could see, a duplex flat -there were some stairs that led from some upstairs level from which a couple of young people in formal dress were coming down. This corridor led sort of outside. Here there was a storeroom and a kind of auditorium with, again, velvety green seats, about tow hundred of them. And by the side of the house on a lower bank, there was the train line and a train just going past. Well, that 's it then, I'll just miss that train. I went in again but just couldn't find the first room...


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