Two Plumbers: A Love Story
He was a plumber and she was a plumber. Long ago they met this way, as
plumbers. And they married, each becoming part of HIM & HER PLUMBING.
Like most plumbers, he and she (HIM & HER) were logical people, and
taciturn. They understood that leaks could be plugged, ruptures fixed,
damage restored. For them, all the world was a series of tubes. A push
and pull of straight lines and right angles. They knew pipes were the
perfect carpet of veins and arteries. Some carried water in, some out.
Each had its own purpose. Each would always have that purpose. And,
somehow, all of them must fit into the space provided.
1. First, we see the wing of a bird behind glass. Its lightness, under lights.
2. We see a box with wheels (transportation).
3. We see a stuffed cat and dog and fern (housepets).
4. Above, hangs the cross-section of a machine he once used to fly through the air.
5. Stuffed close, without much oxygen.
6. We see bones and sand.
7. A dusty marble floor.
8. A piece from a house that was once made of such pieces.
9. In an adjacent room, we study tools for work and murder.
10. An atlas of what he once feared.
11. A list of what he named and how he named it.
12. A device he used to punish/torture/pleasure himself.
13. Then, we find the diagram of hope.
14. Erected and constructed by our famous scientists.
15. Three-dimensional and swinging towards us.
16. The placard says, This is what allowed him to see.
17. What blinded him.
18. But it isn't clear.
19. At least.
20. We're not sure we understand what we're supposed to understand.
21. And all of this is ancient.
22. Much of everything is long extinct.
23. The museum itself is relic.
24. It smells musty, of history.
25. And we turn the corner, leaving it there. Spinning.
26. We climb steps, descend steps.
27. We move on.
28. We pass other displays.
29. On him. On us.
30. And we see sketches and carpets and shapes folded from dry paper (self-expression).
31. Photographs and paintings and a large collection of weapons (beauty).
32. An exhibit on what has been lost. An empty hall, a hall of emptiness.
33. Then, we take out our maps.
34. We leave in the nearest direction.
35. Famished, we purchase food from the first window.
36. We consume it as he once consumed it.
37. Alone, and with others. As him, and as ourselves.
38. That was everything he left behind, we think.
39. He left everything behind.
40. And we understand this. This, we think, we understand.
1996 © 2011