book of days serial #9

His consistently populist insertion into the city fabric was disrupted. He was lost in its vacuous bowels. There are three entrances to the Bonaventure, one from Figueroa and the other two by way of elevated gardens on the other side of the hotel, which is built into the remaining slope of the former Bunker Hill. None of these is anything like the old hotel marquee, or the monumental porte cochere with which the sumptuous buildings of yesteryear were wont to stage the passage from city street to the interior. The entryways of the Bonaventure are, as it were, lateral and rather backdoor affairs: the gardens in the back point to the sixth floor of the towers, and even there a flight of steps must be descended to find the elevator leading to the lobby. By inverting its interests, the Bonaventure aspires to being a total space, a complete world, a kind of miniature city; to this new total space, meanwhile, corresponds a new collective practice, a new mode in which individuals move and congregate.

The diagnosis of clinical introversion is confirmed by the great reflective glass skin of the Bonaventure. Now one would want rather to stress the way in which the skin repels the city outside; a repulsion for which we have analogies in those reflector sunglasses which make it impossible for your interlocutor to see your own eyes and thereby achieve a certain aloof aggression and power. In a similar way, the glass skin achieves a peculiar and placeless dissociation of the Bonaventure from its neighborhood: it is not even an exterior, inasmuch as when the outer walls are foregrounded, the thing itself disappears leaving only the distorted images of everything that surrounds it.

He became a moving-target-survivor subscriber, a true child of the city, because except for the rare times when he allowed himself to be pinned or stranded, the system was geared to keep him mobile and dazed. Some of the people there moved around like crazy people until they couldn’t see which way the routes were taking them anymore, only the glass and dust all over those dark surfaces, and the reflective orange sun on the unexpected penetrations to awareness.

During these pre-autumnal hauntings of the Bonaventure, the hundreds of canicular spaces and vernal skies of began to draw together until they had formed a collective meta-environment, and he wandered that even, like a rogue from a transient pod; as saver-destroyer, provider-waster, right hand-left hand, nimble, fluent, transient and resident; cold brown steel, rust, desert-sapped foliage, groundswept, sweat cooling and warming up again, noise on cassettes in one ear and mechanical elevator-humming in the other, fuel, visual heat, vitality and shadow, the living object itself, shadow hardly an intruder.

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