Monday, October 23, 2006

blood out of a stone

Of late, every nook has been filled with meetings of new and old. I never properly sat down to write about K and Ranjit visiting. While we were not complete homebodies while they were here, we didn't cover oodles of new ground... and I think all of us needed some rest, time to catch up face to face. There was much talk. And much eating. And a breakthrough in the explorations of the asbestos factory. We stumbled upon an unexplored second and third floor in another building. We breathed fresh air elsewhere, Manayunk, Fishtown, Chinatown, Chestnut Hill, Reading Terminal Market and all around in Ambler.

idolatry © Laura Kicey

The summer squeezed so much out of me, I felt like I was done. I was ready to walk away from this life, start over somewhere else. Convinced there was little left for me here and I had drained the well. With the relocation of Mr. D to the Philly area coinciding with having numerous brushes with new people full of zest, I am discovering a wealth of places for future adventures along with the possibility of joint creative endeavors... and ultimately reasons and ways to keep doing what I am doing without losing it.... my mind or my creative edge. Every Autumn, I am new again.

quarter horse
quarter horse © Laura Kicey

This last weekend was no exception. A new non-flickr photofriend, who has a penchant for prying boards from windows and making her way into pitch black abandoned homes led D and I on a fantastic adventure, punctuated by hundreds of worthwhile thorn jabs.

Every one was worth it.

She and her friend had been to one of the two houses we explored a number of times. From items they discovered, including letters, documents and photographs, they had pieced together the history of a man, 6 years dead, and snippets of his life.

finery © Laura Kicey

From his work as a photographer for the armed forces during WWII from negs we saw in teh house of aerial views of planes in formation, to his love of breeding dogs, and phtography in general. His wife Floss, had died some years before him and the house had been abandoned for at least 6 years.

range © Laura Kicey

His bathroom, kitchen, and cellar contained products that have long been out of production. Painting a fuller picture of a widower, ailing and alone. The accumulation of his wife's old clothes, the bottle of whiskey in the hall, the dishes set out on the counter to dry. Christmas decorations on the floor.

nausea dizziness fatigue
nausea dizziness fatigue © Laura Kicey

I had never really been inside a proper residence that had been abandoned like this. The truck stop motel was a different brand of melancholy. The remains of people who were nowhere, whose stories were strewn across state lines and their underwear and hot plates gave away few secrets in the anonymous rooms.

The knowing. Being able to glean so much from what was left behind. Seeing the things this man was devoted to. His hobbies, his wife, almost being able to watch his decline, seeing the toppled walkers in the various rooms. One half expected to see his laying there, wasting away on the bare matrress in his bathrobe, on oxygen.

wearing thin
wearing thin © Laura Kicey

To offset this weird detached nostalgia, I offer up the booty from a visit to Qmart.

head over heels
head over heels © Laura Kicey

It bore a very close resemblance to Saturday's Market in Middletown. And while it is hardly a long trip from Philly, the crowd was identical to the one in Central PA. Most unsettling. And visually thrilling, without having to fill the gas tank so much.

hot lips
hot lips © Laura Kicey

Welcome to the renaissance. I know I still have readers. And enough people have been complaining to me that I haven't written, so I hope this will tide you over for a spell. This weekend the D and I will be Central PA galavanting, mini-roadtripping, hitting some unexplored territory in the depths of Nowhere. Stay tuned.

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Anonymous Dominic said...

Boo. I'm mad I missed hanging with all of you. Let's do a walk again soon before it gets too cold.

11:04 AM, October 26, 2006  
Anonymous Hershey Kiss said...

How captivating your photos and story of the deserted home... I love that kind of insight into others lives, what may have been overlooked by another was so respectfully captured by you. Miss you sugar lump. xoxo

8:06 PM, October 26, 2006  

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