The LaLa – you vixen!

“Every building is like a person. Single and unrepeatable.” ~Louis Sullivan

The other day a group of architectural students on bikes made their way to the LaLa to admire it. Of particular note to them was the red camelback that isn’t a camelback but instead is my office tower, yes I have an office tower, where all the important things go on. Maybe that is not entirely true as very important things happen on the front porch as well, and a few times have happened on the screen porch and out back in the yard under a crepe myrtle tree, and then inside, well there have been and continue to be serious discussions and happenings inside the main house as well.

The truth is this is just a house – or is it? If a house could have a soul then the LaLa has one, or does it share mine? It’s hard for me to distinguish where the house begins and I end sometimes. Sort of like in Downton Abbey when the Earl of Grantham chooses the house over his daughter’s inheritance chance. Last night, I lay in bed, depressed, contemplating stones in my pockets a wade into the deep part of the bayou as a way out of my inability to see a way out of my inability – I’m not content, I told T as she came in to check on me – and I kept looking at the door jamb, at the closet pulls with the Adam and Eve and the Snake designs on the top closet doors, and the light coming from the robin’s egg blue tinted clerestory an the glass tiles reflected in the bathroom mirror that look like a ribbon of blue water and I wondered if indeed the LaLa is unique enough to warrant my burden.

I dawdled this morning in inaction after getting up too early to do a call with Asia and then I went and walked the dogs and looked at the other houses along the bayou. One has just been put up for sale after the owners caused such a ruckus on the bayou with their errant ducks, roosters and god knows what other farm animals were incubating in there. The magical ship captain’s house that was described recently as a mere shotgun with a wrap-around gallery has a big POD out front meaning they are doing something in there and maybe it finally sold. The house on the corner, the old Morel-Wisner house sold for over $1 million and since it is a few houses down from me, I received the news positively, who isn’t mercantile on some deep level.

But last night I did not feel unique and I felt like the LaLa should quit being unique to me and then today walking in City Park and admiring the herons and the moss hanging from the trees, I felt a surge of Wonder Woman channeling through my veins and I felt not only unique but able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, even though Wonder Woman never did such a thing cause she’s a lady.

But I have an idea, and sometimes an idea can give you wings.

The House

They are building a house
half a block down
and I sit up here
with the shades down
They are building a house
half a block down
and I sit up here
with the shades down
listening to the sounds,
the hammers pounding in nails,
thack thack thack thack,
and then I hear birds,
and thack thack thack,
and I go to bed,
I pull the covers to my throat;
they have been building this house
for a month, and soon it will have
its people…sleeping, eating,
loving, moving around,
but somehow
it is not right,
there seems a madness,
men walk on top with nails
in their mouths
and I read about Castro and Cuba,
and at night I walk by
and the ribs of the house show
and inside I can see cats walking
the way cats walk,
and then a boy rides by on a bicycle
and still the house is not done
and in the morning the men
will be back
walking around on the house
with their hammers,
and it seems people should not build houses
it seems people should not get married
it seems people should stop working
and sit in small rooms
on 2nd floors
under electric lights without shades;
it seems there is a lot to forget
and a lot not to do,
and in drugstores, markets, bars,
the people are tired, they do not want
to move, and I stand there at night
and look through this house and the
house does not want to be built;
and the cats stop and look at me
until I am embarrassed
and move North up the sidewalk
where I will buy
cigarettes and beer
and return to my room.

Charles Bukowski


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