Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Abandonment Issues: Angel with a Crown of Thorns House
"An angel with a crown of thorns...", my wife Ninja says softly, pointing in through a bedroom window. Oblivious to the obvious, with my hands arched tightly between my forehead and cheeks, and the window, I respond in a raspy whisper, "A devil on both shoulders."
This was after we spotted a white house with a small hole in the roof, on the side of yet another dirt road, in the vast expanse of rural Ontario. After we parked and hiked, and the grass and poison ivy in the overgrown driveway tickled the a1one tattoos on my exposed calves. After finding the fire pit, the citronella torch, and the shed. After stealthily scoping the circumference and verbally announcing our presence. And just before we declared the location abandoned and made our way inside.
An angel with a crown of thorns, a devil on both shoulders. A tricycle, a treasure chest, and my own image reflecting back at me. Antiquated appliances and a fully furnished living room. Mould and moss and mud and muck, natural decay at its finest. Wine glasses atop the kitchen counter prompt me to reach for my flask, and I sip of the devil's brew. I can't so much turn water into wine as I can turn massive quantities of alcohol into piss and regrets. The kitchen counters stagnate in a state of constant collapse. Another glance back at the wine glasses prompts me to consider that maybe someone was in the middle of doing the dishes, and then suddenly vanished, or passed away. The laundry piled on the living room chair prompts a similar thought process. Chores, vanishing, death. Looters, could also be responsible for this, emptying drawers and cabinets in search of valuables, I think to myself. The TV is gone, the treasure chest is empty. Maybe the clothes were in the treasure chest? An old record player on the entertainment unit is covered in a thin layer of dust. A rotary phone hangs from the wall above a wooden rocking chair and crumbled chunks of drywall. Beyond that is a bedroom, which is in remarkably pristine condition in contrast to the rest of the house. It is on the window sill in this room that I see it, in all its glory. A bright halo of light pounds through the window above the angel with a crown of thorns.
On the second floor, random objects are strewn about, including several lampshades, which provides somewhat of a foreshadowing for what I would encounter in the basement.
The Angel with a Crown of Thorns House.
The branches of a family tree.
The front door is locked, or blocked.
The family that prays together, fades together.
The tricycle of terror.
The TV is gone, the chest and cabinets emptied. The chair in the centre of the room is piled with laundry, as if someone was about to fold it before vanishing into thin air.
Sometimes, there are no words.
A self portrait is snapped as I catch myself passing by in a mirror.
This old empty wooden chest was a treasure in itself.
The needle never drops, the music never starts.
A child's room, at the front of the house, furniture askew.
The mould is overwhelming in the kitchen. I step outside for a moment.
The kitchen has rotted around the dishes, which are only half done. It appears that someone just walked off halfway through doing the dishes, and never came back.
Dishes in progress, paper towels still on the rack.
It is always interesting to come across appliances from generations past.
The great cabinet collapse.
The dishwasher is out of order. Large knives are partially buried in the muck atop it.
The rocking chair and the rotary phone. I stood here for a few moments, pondering all of the conversations that may have taken place right in this spot, and all of the emotions that would have been felt here.
This bedroom is in remarkable condition considering the mould and decay that has devoured the rest of the house. It is this room, that is watched over by the Angel with a Crown of Thorns.
"What was that???"
The second floor is littered with a random assortment of objects, primarily lampshades. A foreshadowing of what I would encounter in the basement.
The air is thick with mould, I can feel it in my infected ears.
Autumn leaves fall onto the warped floorboards of a second floor bedroom.
The basement stairs catch my attention as I saunter back through the house, and I stop in my muddy tracks. A real what the fuck moment.
"Hello?! Is someone down there?" How the fuck are these lights possibly still on?
A very uneasy feeling comes over me as I snap this image. How could these lights still be on? Why is everything so clean and organized? Why is there a wet footprint in the corner?
Dexter and kill rooms and Gacy and pig farmer Picton and feet washing up on the shores of BC and similar thoughts chase me up the stairs and out of the light, and out of the house, and down the road, where we stumble upon yet another abandoned house, and to the south, another.
Those stories will surely be told in time, but now, we must pack our bags and hit the road yet again. A surprise trip planned by Ninja for my birthday is about to unfold, and knowing us, anything and everything is about to happen.
Running from the light, with no protection from the angels, and a devil on both shoulders, I bid you adieu.
click here to check out all of jerm & ninja IX's ABANDONMENT ISSUES