June 14, 2019

Floor 4: Redlick Building

1) I once bought a round dining table with a label proudly announcing your presence in the world. That was in 1993. Redlick it read. 17 Reasons why. I bought it at a thrift store housed in your hull. 2) I bought it for the fact that the label was intact. 3) I bought it for the history of having visited as an immigrant child in 1975. That same year your doors shuttered. Reimagined in the years to come but who would have thought that it would come to this. 4) I bought the table even though there was no truck for the purpose of transporting the table. 5) I bought a roll of blue painter’s tape.  I wrapped this tape around the table’s edge. One time two times three times ten. And just like that it was a wheel. 6) I rolled it across town and up two hills. 7) I made friends with a neighbor who helped carry the table up three flights of stairs. She is still my friend. 8) I placed it in the middle of this room. It was too big. It was too small. The room. This table. But it was mine. 9) That night, I ate my first meal on a table in an apartment in my first home in this city. I think it was Chinese takeout or King of Thai Noodle House. I could be wrong. It doesn’t matter. 10) I want to write you this letter. This list as nostalgia for the past. 11) It wants to be a lamentation for all things present. 12) I want you to know how I became an artist on the fourth-floor corner cube behind your brick walls, catty-corner to the adult video store. For being human this is worth noting. The year was 2011. 13) I want you to know that I was evicted along with forty-three other artists in 2015. I fought the eviction. I lost that fight. I wanted you to know that I fought for the neighborhood. I fought for you. 14) I want you to know I still walk by you every day. I peer in your windows. I look past the hollows of your vacant interiors. 15) There is a startup on the fourth floor. They provide a service. They house blueprints for new developments. I wanted you to know this. You, who have come this far in seeing. 16) You are history. Forgotten. You are my history. That part of me I’m trying not to forget. 17) I gave the table to a newly graduated student. The exact year I don’t recall. I kept the label. It’s in a book on a shelf in my home. Still in this city. This matters now. Still. This matters now. Still.

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