The Unswung Bat

Thursday, October 09, 2003
St George, Thursday Night

Lights against the window mesh, in the night. Two rows of streetlights penning in all sorts of headlights and traffic signals. Against the mesh they blur out into little crosses of light. The red and yellow ones seem low-energy, the white and green intensely cold. That may be wishful thinking. This is my view.

Grad house, just down the street, is a massive block of a low-lying apartment building with an apendage that juts out, ponderously beneath high-rising shoulders, like the neck of some overworked beast of burden. Where the eye would be, from the side I see it, is a lighted window with an inexplicable circle of shade in the middle, like a pupil. What if the buildings secretly are alive, I wonder.

What if it were to decide it was tired of stillness, the grad house down the street whose side-facing eye stares at me. If it felt the irresistable urge to move, the same one that shoots down my legs when I'm trying to sleep, makes me shudder and know I'll be awake for hours to come. What would happen to the people inside? Would they try to jump out the windows, for fear of being digested by their dislodged dwelling, only to find tough skin had grown over the mesh screen, trapping them inside?

Perhaps it would simply carry them somewhere else. March like a cyclops down Spadina, headed south for the water, to drink heavily after years of standing parched. Perhaps its doors would remain open for people to come and go as they pleased, with a permanent residence but no fixed address. I would like to see Robarts come to life.

It's standing on the corner like some enormous bird with its wings folded in on itself. A monolith built in triangles around books. Moist from the rain, blemished by a few streamers of ivy, but these seem tenuous, as though the monster could shake them off with ease, if only it cared to.

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