Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Del-Wood: Patinoire Anachronique

In the cold, diffused light of the mid-afternoon sun, the building sits at the end of the lot.
Dull, drab, cracked paint, gray as slate. Deco arcs of another age, invisible icing ignored... and a weathered, unlit neon sign (does it even work?).

Inside: Dark, cavernous...
Well-worn iron railings, scuffed maple flooring
and the unexpected echo of laughter.

The must of 1958 hangs in the air as dozens glide in circles.
The strains of a wheezing Wurlitzer breathe bright melodies like a whistling blind man, unaware of the decay around him.
A palpable sense of history hovers -- but is it from the obvious layers of dust or the dank, old-gym smell?

Around and around the figures continue to race, laughing.
Boys furtively eye the skirts, girls glance at the boys with a blush...
And it all seems to work.

Is this a taste of the heyday from years ago?
If so, that dusty, burned-out neon sign, quietly crooked and nonchalant, must have been one helluva beacon for the kids.