The house was only a room, and the room was filled with drawers. Crawling from floor toceiling, an unending number of shells, cases, boxes, trays, trunks, bins, cartridges.
The house domed at the top, a window spilling light. The air: dust, a thickness. Nobody knew how much of anything, of what. The infinitude of materials that could be assumed to fill shelves, held tight inside of the tomb of thisness, were anybody's guess. It was rare that anybody entered, even rarer that anyone left, lost to the gridded labyrinth of space. Lost to a curiosity that, for once, could never be fulfilled. To archive the contents of the room, the house, the mausoleum, would be a worthless task, for the drawers could be empty or full at any given time, and what was inside was never inside more than once. The contents infinitely shifting, lost to their own internal motivations. The motivation of the dead, the direction of the never-lived. The room worked like a machine, but the machine's autonomous disposition distanced the marvels of modern technology.
Perhaps a catalog of incidentals offering a forever shifting glimpse into the ephemeral nature of what was inside is the only way one can expect to come to terms with the house, the room. To remember the containers, catalogs in their own right, one must remember the way certain drawers could be pulled out for miles, sand shifting inside, organic beings gasping at the light of day. Other drawers not drawers at all, merely façades with handles. These are nailed shut, but pulling the nails away reveals a concrete wall behind.
The first man
put a stethoscope to a cement wall to listen to the beating and heard a whispering threat that he refused to repeat, fearing its validity. The sun-spill colored his face a pale green and he opened another drawer into which he vomited. In his spew shone shades that can never exist. Afterward he climbed down his ladder, crossed the room to another box. He pulled it out six feet and crawled inside, this wood his new womb. This womb his coffin. Later this drawer shut, and when the drawer was finally reopened, years later, there was only more dust to be found. An empty drawer six feet deep. A scent remained: sweat, coffee, dry skin.
An indistinguishable body
enters the house, the room, and opens a drawer at eye level. Inside: nothing, blank wood. The body pulls out a pencil and pushes lead into grain, leaving strange marks, passionate asemic love letters. Unanswered violence for help. Piles of lead are blown into corners, describing a frame to the space. The lines cry but the body is mute. A transference compensating for an absence.
This body crouches down, opens another drawer and finds a microphone into which the mouth tries to speak: silence.
Instead the figure takes a finger, still marked of lead, and moves it along the bottom of the microphone's drawer. The finger pushes hard and soon the wood splinters, red blood mixing with the powdery black into a colour descriptive only as deep. The body stays quiet and tears fall onto cheeks. The new material-substance drops, blends withthe crimson of blood and night of lead, a clear opacity that makes the deep shine like the cold. The finger continues to rub in a circular motion until a sizeable revolution of loops establishes an endless hole. The figure stands up and steps into the drawer, walks to the edge of the void, and falls.
That night there were cries hidden in the room, recorded in silence by the abandoned
The contents of drawers never opened
include: three audio tapes holding bursts of static, a list of people who have died or will die on their golden birthday, a collection of rusty knives stained with degrees of blood, a computer disc holding a virus that will transform electronic matter into organic bodies (exclusively for sexual purpose), the corpse of an extra-terrestrial biological entity (a wound marring what would be considered the head), wine from the cellar of a blood-soaked château, bunches of dried asparagus bound in twine, acrylic paints, abandoned voices that never found bodies, tennis balls, isolated gunshot wounds, inextinguishable candles, evidence missing from a crime scene, dried palm leaves, blood oranges, cough syrup, and wax.
A young man came into the room and sobbed.
An architect's daughter and her best friend
found their way into the room through the secret passage of a drawer. They laughed and pulled out trays to form stairs, climbing spirals from the bottom to the top. They met at the domed window and laughed together while they watched the sky, listening to the empty din of rain hitting glass with a pounding thud. They excited, felt.
They fell asleep in beds they found by pulling out drawers of the top row, two consecutive cots filled with blankets, padding, pillows. They slept in the house for three days, finding everything they needed exactly when they wanted it. They laughed when they found a box of masks, putting them on and running around, chasing each other in circles. After another night's rest, they left the same way they came, caresses of a sleep-becoming lingering with the warmth of the room for many days after.
The floor is covered in shit. A drawer is leaking. Wait until dust covers and the smell fades.
A man shaking in the junk of withdrawal
stumbles into the house, the room. Collapsing on the floor, he touches nothing. A drawer opens for him. His rapid eyes look up to discover the roots of a tree, buried upside down insand, sticking out above him. Worms and the dirt of earth crawl through the sustained rhizome: the ground suspended within roots is damp. He stands up, approaching the wall's extension. He sticks his hands deep into the box, digging, letting sand drop between his fingers, pushing deeper and deeper. His hands exit the sand holding an apple. He takes a bite and stops shaking. He finishes the apple, climbs into the drawer, and sinks into the sand.
A group of teenagers,
lost together, drunk off the night, stumble into the house for shelter. Outside it is raining. There are boys and girls, they move too much to identify how many of each. They peck at other faces without care of gender, binaries pre-empted by the pursuit of pleasure. They cry out, scream, shout, laugh. They pulse. The room, the house, shakes.
Their bodies connected, rolling, ignoring the drawers. The drawers stay shut tonight, for now. The bodies asleep in the middle of the floor, smiles haunting absent faces. In the morning they will wake up and grin, maybe notice the shelves, maybe open some, but they will not find anything. They will look at the wrong drawers: their flight is all the house can fold.
An old woman
is looking for something. She enters with purpose, counting the drawers as a grid. She grabs a ladder, slowly staggers to a column facing the entrance, climbs ten feet into the airand opens a drawer to her left. She stares inside and carries her gasp. She hyperventilates, her presence becoming a flicker of light and dark, her body an empty film-strip fed through a slowed projector. The box vibrates but she cannot find the movement with her eyes. Wires spring and shape a mass of light. Ends like fiber optics, colours shade strands. The shake can be seen, and her shape catches light as a beat, but the woman is naught. To watch the lights. With shut eyes, marks punch at that darkness like tiny unshared fire-work.
In almost every drawer
one can find sadness. The sadness keeps people in, empty drawers filling with hidden bodies. If the house were torn down, the room destroyed, drawers falling from walls into piles of decay, the contents would hold vigil for the death that is behind the walls behind the drawers. Flesh and muscle insulate the house, keep in heat, a drawer providing chemical secretion to prevent a totality of decay. There is already enough dust.
The room takes up the house, the house takes up a hill. The hill takes up a zone abandoned to industrialization. This is in a city, a city of importance, a city of spoken desire. The lust felt by its inhabitants fill other rooms, houses, hills, zones, cities. A city can cremate, erode. Waves forever crashing against a shore.