Where once was a city of lesser ambition but greater vibrancy we catch glimpses of a smoldering crater amongst fumes of industry. At its heart, a spire, so tall, so baroque, so architecturally unsound yet defiantly standing. As if it had once exploded into being, it shoots myriad walkways from itself that curl up into what resembles a high concept wireframe of an actually inhabitable cityscape-to-be.
I grab your hand and we go down one of the walkways. It’s as if entering a spiderweb that hasn’t even the decency to snare you. It just taunts and warns of a spider somewhere. Everything is both an underpass and an overpass. We’ll never know how we stand.
Everything is cold to the touch, everything is cold to the EAR. Ringing pipes, clamoring catwalks, bellowing surfaces. We walk not though a city, but through a leviathan of metal alloys, who’s stomach growls as a banshee haunts, for we are the indigestion. If not for petrol and diseases, we’d be the sole organic matter, you and I. And with the sky red and the clouds black, the winds gone and the rain sulphuric, I’m not even sure how we manage to stay that way.
Yet we march on. There are no clocks here. The stars we cannot see. The city is eternal, static, desolate, unchanging. And with day and night no longer distinct and a destination meaningless, time becomes but a device of self-cohesion. If not for the succession of thoughts, I fear we would dissipate into forever.
But lo, we’ve come upon an opening. As if cut into the fabric of our sight itself, the cave mouth smiles at us. An impossibly smooth detonation carved this into being… loose pipes and sparking circuitboards line the sides. We fearlessly enter, the strangeness showing promise in this land of despoilment. At the end of the snaking passage… a room.
In a world where everything is either hub or cockpit…. A simple room. A living room, in fact. We greet long-lost brothers: wood, dust, mold! Cobwebs! We walk along the creaking wooden floor, every creak an otherworldly delight, to a sheet-covered apparition, and pull the sheet away to reveal… the most missed of all brothers… furniture! Ottomans, divans, fainting couches, coffee tables, armoires, sofas, armchairs, a darling china cabinet. All antique, all gorgeous, all functional only in the amount one is willing to invest in them. Form over function. What a relief. All awaited here, covered in sheets, as if surrendered to their ghostly fate. Ghosts in the upholstery.