Sex and the City
I’m working 3 days a week 8am-5pm for the next five weeks. Above is the building I’m working in, the delightful Phillips Fox Tower. Even the bathrooms have views. Today is a clear winter day and I am absolutely struck down with love for this city again. I’m such a strange girl. I love Paremoremo and the bush, water, dirt, peace and earthiness of it all. And I adore the rush and bush of the city, the old sweatiness of the concrete, marble, granite skyscrapers. The mad rush of pedestrians carrying takeaway coffees, talking on their cellphones. Black and charcoal suits, briefcases and laptop bags brushing past student satchels, carry-alls and sneakers. Fine italian leather shoes shining up from the ashen, dank asphalt.
I took lunch and just soaked it in. The sense of speed and power, movement and momentum. For a moment I just breathed in and remembered that people do find meaning and peace in the rhythm of a city life. In arriving at work, juggling carparks, gym memberships, Starbucks, banking. Jewellery stores, CD stores and any kind of ethnic food I like all in walking distance, all in the space of a half hour lunch. Bookstores, galleries and just a hint of Albert Park in the distance. This is the city.
I stepped inside Whitcoulls on the corner of Queen & Victoria, opposite my tower. Walking through the sections well laid out and displayed, I found a surreal little world by the poetry shelves. I was looking for something obscure and native, preferably Te Reo poetry translated. Instead I found insipid love poems from every ear and unpleasant covers. The delightful thing about poetry books, is that they normally escape the pop-culture, supermarket read cartoon cover art. Or the softly focussed, overly made up cover model shots that grace Danielle Steel, Penny Vincenzi and so on. No, as much as I enjoy Marian Keyes and Jane Green.. they are a world of fictional merriment and their cartoons suit them. I like my poetry to feel dark and real, bold and intimate from the moment I look at the cover, feel the weight and texture of the paper in my hands. Then the words and timbre can capture me and take me an sacred place.
Today, the surrealism wasn’t helped by a poor selection of ‘contemporary’and ‘classic’poetry. But the moment was saved. I was engulfed in a double pitched clunking rhythm overhead and all around. The internal escalators in that building must be near on ancient now, and sure enough.. the droning bass clunk and the doubletime treble clack clack made a rhythm enclave for me to dive into. The vibrations through the floor travelled to the very end of my fingertips and made even the dullest of offerings seem a little alive. It made me want to record the sounds and play them over and over, maybe even as a loop on some anthemic lovesong to the city.
It’s less than a day spent in her clutches and I am utterly swept away again. The pulse and rhythm, life of it all takes me back to New York and brings me home again. I need to live with a camera on my arm, capturing every moment of these days. In the darkest of spaces, my city reinvigorates me.
I remember now.. the love affair I have with this place. I’m going to prescribe myself more city time, remembering my culture from out in the sometime desert of the North Shore.