Ersilia – Through the lens of Architecture

The city stood tall in its chaos before its inevitable unravelling, like a queen that awaits her death at the prime of her youth and pride and dignity. I walked forward, my hand brushing against the walls, feeling their rough, grainy texture. Each one was the same, and yet so different at the same time. The walls folded, giving way to strings, long and sinuous, forming the veins through which this city bled, drop by drop. Each house was a different experience. The semi-circular, brightly coloured concrete with wooden windows at its entrance reminded me of a tiny old woman who sat in her armchair by the fireplace, knitting needles in hand and dozing lightly, like a warm home after the cold evening rain that always has a cosy corner to curl up in. The more subtle brick-layered houses with their sloping roofs and a layer of red-mud tiles provided a violent contrast to the intensity of the coloured mounds. Mosaic boxes made of tiles and rubble and piled one on top of the other, complete with windows and doors that one could never reach, reflected a sense of undefined madness that ravaged the heart of the city, festering curiosity. And yet, this very chaos gave it its beauty. It evicted a sense of long-lost fun that was slowly breaking down, like a fungus gnawing into a wooden log, sapping out the freshness with its poisonous barbs. The delicate wire trees with rounded ends grew around the city in plenty, bringing with them a bittersweet nostalgia of cool, breezy evenings and deserted swings in a park that were once the city’s centre. Each brick, every wall, every texture and every string had its own life and its own anarchy that came together, adding new layers to a city made of people who were awaiting its destruction, ready to leave, like a predator anticipating its next prey. Each detail assaulted me with a new memory, each colour brought forth unknown spirits. This beautiful potion of materials and houses and trees and lonely swings, shattering to pieces as my people ripped apart everything except the supports and dust and torn down connections. I couldn’t bring myself to follow. I couldn’t place my hands on my house that was now just a set of walls and on the strings that interwove me and the city and its residents and pull it down like it meant nothing. They pleaded with me, fought with me. They lost. I stood in my place as the sun rose beyond the mountains and the sand, casting gold upon the ruins, as the clouds rose into the sky, coloured an ominous grey to signal the oncoming end, as the walls tore down around me and the last of the strings fell to the cold ground, and there was nothing that could tempt me to leave, not a new city, not new memories, not even a new life.

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