This weekend I’ve been reading Virginia Woolf’s classic essay A Room of One’s Own. Originally begun as a series of speeches on the subject of Women and Fiction, the essay builds on the thesis that “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”. I’m only a third of the way through, but so far Woolf’s essay has covered far more ground than might be expected given the piece’s simple premise.
On my way home I walked by a boarded up parking garage. There is something curious about an abandoned place that was never much of a place at all, like the death of a person that lived and knew no one, stolen from their mother at birth and kept in isolation until their lonely end. One laments the sale of their home, or pines for an old haunt that was destroyed to make way for new development, but rarely would one be dismayed by the demise of a place so insignificant as a car lot.
If you wiretapped our heads
and ferreted through the threads,
of worries and sorrows,
our hopes for tomorrow,
and projected the sound,
made audible, profound,
we’d hear in each other
the fear that we smother,
of failure and loneliness
and death and unhappiness,
a cacophony of dread
just locked in our head.
Sitting in the kitchen; ears deceive.
Is that rain or just breeze?
Wrap me up tight, cry on my sleeve.
You’re a welcome blanket; cover me, please.
The first car of the N-Judah squeezes out from the tunnel on Duboce Street, wheels screeching in their groove and the cables snapping with electricity overhead. The bars of light inside bathe the riders in a yellow haze; their heads are bent, their minds in any place but the train car.