Building Walls Around My Bed
Moving has been a consistent theme of my life for the past few years. It is a process that always brings with it a tinge of nostalgia for what is lost in the between spaces that accumulate, particularly when those times are so numerous.
February is not exactly the most ideal time to be moving when you live on the east coast, but somehow the promise of creating a new home is enough reason to trudge out in the cold through the earlier hours of the morning with all the belongings you can stand to hold dear and get into the shady freight elevator.
Life is just full of surprises sometimes. Surprises like 3,000 square feet of apocalyptic, post-industrial space perched over the future of on-coming trains and a new school. Everyday, walls and foundations are tumbling next door to me, shaking the walls of my feeble factory-conversion, illegal residence. I moved in a dragonfly pull-out couch, painted the walls sage, crushed velvet, and chalkboard.
A few years back someone tagged “detox the ghetto” on the side of this building that, to the uneducated eye, might very well epitomize the ghetto. The tag is facing the railroads that take commuters between suburban New Jersey and New York City 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. “I know that building,” my friend John tells me when I point out the tag, “DTG,” with a smirk on his face.
On a clear day, around 5pm the sun shines with a distinct orange light that only shines at this repose during Januaries and Februaries in the northern hemisphere that illuminates the name of the place I call home. I can feel the eyes of all the men and women traveling by on the locomotives who look up at the bold letters illuminated by the heaven light that (sometimes) shines on Newark, New Jersey.
That light shines in my windows, welcoming me home.