Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A View with a Room

Out to Gresham again today. At the station where I get off there’s this outdoor living room set up. At first I though someone had dumped some unwanted furniture at the site and that people waiting for their rides had grouped it around to make the best of it. But on looking more carefully I see that this is somebody’s art installation. There’s a tiled area of pavement in the middle of the lawn where it’s displayed, and a swirl of black & white painted onto the screen of the old TV, and a floor lamp. What an inviting scene! Unlike the platform alongside the train tracks, where for some reason there are very few benches. The two or three that are there are usually occupied by someone super tired-looking with a lot of bundles who seems so hunkered in that you hesitate to assume you’d be welcome to share the other end.

Only once have I seen someone sitting in this cozy spot, though, which seems weird, given the dearth of seating on the platform. The living room is located across a small bus lane from the actual train tracks, maybe that’s why. I haven’t sat there either – I’m new to the train and I’m afraid I’ll miss it if I’m not standing right there. Which is silly because there’s plenty of time to walk across to it when it arrives.

Does anyone know the story? Like who did it and how long it will be there? What I really want to know, though – forgive my shallow practicality – is what happens when it rains? We had some serious, though brief, showers on Monday, for the first time in weeks. Today I’ll go see if the living room is moldy yet. Maybe someone has the job of covering it up with tarps if it rains? I doubt it.

You can ignore the rain if you’re an Oregonian, but if you’re a sofa it’s not recommended. (Unlike people being rained on in other parts of the world, Oregonians can often be seen walking around hatless in a downpour, not even wincing or hurrying their step, or withdrawing their heads down into their shoulders, but just strolling normally as if they weren’t getting wet at all. You try that in Italy or Eastern Europe and you’ll be swept right off to the loonie bin.)

Generally, people won’t mold, but furniture will. And a moldy couch or easy-chair does not cry out to be sat upon. So it’ll be interesting to see how the outdoor living room is doing in a damp state.


At 9:56 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

Wow. Someone went to a lot of trouble to set that up. The concrete looks like it may have been poured with that display in mind.

We have similar displays around here. Except they're not art. It's just people putting crap in their front yards. Usually next to an old wrecked car on blocks...


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