There are defining moments in everyone’s life. Generally speaking, these moments are too numerous to count, because doing one thing different in any particular instant, could change. . .everything. To be clear from the start, this little tidbit isn’t about regret or really about an experience. It’s just a re-memory that tumbles through my mind, every now and then, when the wind blows that certain scent of freshness, promising me that a cool rain will soon follow.
It was the biggest place I had ever rented on my own. . .and it was all mine. Finally, I felt “legit.” A set of twins in my college Senior Portfolio class (I was a junior at the time) had one and they produced the most spectacular photos. Apparently their senior year, they had let their studio go in lieu of purchasing some bad a$$ piece of camera equipment. I seized the moment! My opportunity had arrived.
I had my own studio. I use the word studio here loosely. But it was mine and it was beautiful and sexy and full of tremendous potential. I would do things with lights. . .have models pose for me – in costumes. . .yes costumes. None of those things actually happened. But it could have. . .it would have, if. . .well that’s another story.
Housed in the sort of artist type commune/junk yard/old rail car park were a number of buildings, rented by various “artist.” The buildings were colorful. The outer areas cluttered with metal works, painted crafts, care free gardens interspersed between the skeletons of old cars re-purposed for the purpose of ART. . .you know the usual kind of thing one would expect the truly creative to have hanging outside their creative Sanctum of Solitude.
There was no such finery outside of mine. There was a door and in front of said door was cracked asphalt with grass surreptitiously creeping through. It was an old wooden 6 panel door and blue. . .my door was a blue door. As soon as you walked in you were faced with a set of stairs leading up to a huge wooden platform. It was too cool for words (at least to me). You could smell the creativity in the air. . .or maybe it was old paint thinner soaked rags, left by the prior tenant, combined with a certain dankness (tomato to-MA-to). There was no insulation in the walls. The beams were all exposed. There was actually a toilet (yes it worked), out in the open on the top of one side of the split level plat form.
This never really made sense to me, the toilet being up top and exposed. Especially when there was clearly enough space and head room to put it underneath the first and second level platform, since that was allegedly a changing room. Perhaps the original inhabitant thought of it as amusing. . .Sitting atop of his/her world on a throne looking over all he/she surveyed. . .and like me, thinking, that it was all theirs. But c’mon! A toilet. . .not even I would. . .Oh wait. I kind of liked the toilet up top. Sigh. It was quirky. . .I was quirky. And hey, it did have a pretty good view.
Looking from the toilet, you were a good 14 feet above the ground, with perfect sight to the front door and the platforms. Above the toilet, you had another 10 feet, easy, of head space. The windows would let in the most amazing light during the day, perfect for natural light photography (that soft satiny kind of diffused sunlight). I’d come here after and in between classes just to sit. Sometimes it would rain and it would tinker across the metal roof. There was no real form of heat in the space, so it was never warm enough. Heck the only light was from a large tin light, with a single 60 watt bulb, hanging from the ceiling – not nearly enough light for the space at night. But that was okay. Because that space. . .for that time. . .was mine.