Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I've been holding off from doing this post so long it hurts. Each day I walk past a demolition site where an old factory is being torn down. It seems such a clich├ęd and obvious thing to write about that I just didn't bother. I mean, I'm sure anyone reading Join The Road can't wait to hear how such desctruction is symbolic of this or a metaphor for that.
But as I said, I walk past the damn place every day, and now each time I go by all I can think of is how I'm NOT going to write anything about it. Which means I have to, if only for sanity's sake.
Anyway, what is such a big deal about a demolition site anyway? It's more or less a fairly mundane thing really, surely such sites come and go all the time. Is it the child in me lusting after the noisy machinery or just the idea of such fantastic (and legal) destruction?

The signs had been up for ages before the the bulldozers turned up. Huge plastic boards warning passers-by of the impending doom of this particular factory, of how yet another little slice of my town's industrial past was being erased. I'm hardly trying to defend this eyesore though, with it's smashed windows from too much air-gun practice and it's peeling walls daubed with such nuggets of dubious wisdom as "Hitler was right".
After years of dereliction, it was all over in less than a week. It happened so fast it just didn't seem right, only surreal. A swarm of white vans, tabloids slung on their dusty dashboards, surrounded the place whilst the dozers started their work. Rather than one of those wrecking balls that you generally see on TV, these guys had this machine with a huge lobster-like pincer that methodically nibbled at the building and slowly tore it to pieces. There were no Hollywood sound effects either, with only the occasional muted falling of bricks to be heard over the lull of daytime radio. No rending of twisted metal or massive collapsing walls here, this was the health and safety conscious version.

A few days later and a calm carpet of dusty bricks now covers the floor of the entire site. It's strange how it all seems so smooth, even from just across the street, when to actually walk on it would be very difficult. The reinforcing rods from the various concrete parts of the building has all been gathered up into a single giant hairball and placed atop the bricks like an odd piece of abstract artwork.

Seeing all this happen is to witness the evolution of the town. Such demolition is a part of that strange half-remembered intermediary stage between what was there before and what is there now. I know that sounds so ridiculously obvious, but it is something that we always forget about, the inbetween. We seem so obsessed with the end result that we don't take time to appreciate the getting there.


Iva said...

me again lol.

i just wanted to tell you that i understand completely what you're talking about. and i even have my own example of the "in between" time, you might guess what i'm talking about.

being in a long distance relationship really does change one's perspective. you don't have a choice but to get a couple of months of limbo, and in there, my routine so far has been a month of intensive memories and remembering the time spend together and another month of intense planning of what is to come. in our situation, then that leaves about 3 months of plain and straight IN BETWEEN time.

this makes you somewhat humble as you know you just NEED to endure it and that its the nasty unappealing huge part of it all, on the other hand it makes you see things alot more clearly. this is where "distance makes the heart go fonder ... or wander". the true test of loyalty and patience.

suffice to say, i get you.

DidesCharlie said...

Writing the posts themselves is also a little journey quite like the one I described. I start a subject not quite knowing where it is going to lead, although some might say that is bad writing.
I love revelling in the little details of my observations, and I love that you get it too.

DDOFAN said...

The 'Bit in-Between' is life itself and that is why we never notice. We are always looking for the 'Finished Article' every thing changes thats life [consumption]. When indeed the 'Finished Article' is complete, life as we know it is over and wisdom shall prevail. Nothing will ever need to change again! SO.. Enjoy this in-between stage in our journey of discovery,learning and improvement!