déjà vu: hector\’s house

A confession: I have not visited there for quite some time, so it is with much sadness that I notice there are no newer entries than that dated September 23rd, 2009. After a week plagued by more seemingly indiscriminate DMCA murmerings, this painstaking effort of amateur vinyl excavation waxes especially eloquent. And raises dark notions of mortality. To quote directly, Zecalouro:

\”This is probably the most complex album restoration made so far at Loronix, including cover artworks and especially the music. I had to use that equilibrium of noise reduction against loss of frequencies, and I stood in the middle of it. There are many pops, clicks, clacks and hiss … but this album is so beautiful and so hard to find that I decided to show friends, in spite of these problems.\”

As to more immediate grieving, I crossed paths with a neighbour out there who recently lost her husband to cancer. Her loss coincides with the relentless chipping away of the decaying block which towered over us as we spoke, an endgame in preparation for more invasive surgery.

\”Ho! You f@ckin\’ cunt!\” one of the worker ants yelled from a seventeenth floor window. His round face and shoulders framed by a few jagged shards of glass.

Certainly, it dispenses with the tedium of taking the stairs.

He might have been hailing a colleague. Like smouldering blunts, his words scattered on the wind like so much injurious debris.

My neighbour appeared not to notice. Fate is arbitrary and by definition unchallengeable. Its Takedown Notice almost always unforseen. Her husband was given three months to live and died two days after his prognosis. She is holding up as well as can be expected. Our housing association very kindly refused to lend assistance – or squander resources – in removing any items which might foster unpleasant memories. Or cause a wound to fester.

I glanced up at the chimpanzee leering out the window.

On the opposite side of that same concrete block, one Sunday afternoon four or five years ago, a young woman was hurled to her death. A nurse. It was rumoured the apartment she fell from was a drug den. More accurately, she was in the wrong place at quite the wrong time. Allegedly, she clung desperately to the windowsill in those last few seconds until a second woman brought a claw hammer down on her fingertips. The resulting dent in the asphalt below was never properly filled in; there was a log jam in the lifts as people fought to get down there for a spot of rubbernecking before the ambulance arrived.

I was in the process of leaving that block myself, after what was a painful visit, and there was a queue on every landing all the way down.

Fate is like that. It might just as easily have caused some loudmouthed moron to momentarily lose his footing and bleed out from an arterial wound, passing schoolchildren squinting up in alarm. Beleaguered scouts mindful of a sniper.

It didn\’t. SEBASTIĀO TAPAJÓS: CARIMBÓ from \”O Violão E… Tapajós\” LP (Forma) 1968 (Brazil)


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