Monday, December 19, 2011

Zen Monday: #175

photo by John Sandel

Zen Monday's the day you experience the photo and give us your thoughts rather than me telling you what I think the picture's about. There's no competition, no right or wrong. We're here to have fun.

John took this one in Hollywood. It's a bit of a cheat, maybe, but too good not to share.

20 comments:

dive said...

Did you press it? Did you? Aww, go on, you MUST have done.

Shell Sherree said...

I need one of these for my front door. I especially love that they don't need batteries, though I'm sure there's a solar version in development.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

So, how many stopped and insisted on pressing it? Did u count how many got mad because no one answered the buzz?

alex said...

snarkiest zen monday ever.

Steven said...

I see you found the California State Headquarters Office of the Republican Party.

gretchen said...

DIY doorbell. provide your own sound effects. only in lala land!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

a cruel way to tease Hollywood's drug addled populace

Vanda said...

Pasadena version of Diagon Alley?

WOW, my wv is bugger! Awesome!

Dianne Emley said...

Okay. Now please beam me up.

Ms M said...

A modern day version of "Beam me up, Scotty!"

altadenahiker said...

It was my intention to circle back here and clap for a winner. I'm clapping for Mrs. Ed.

Petrea Burchard said...

John was in Hollywood today and he says this "button" is still there.

I don't know if he pressed it. He might not have, but I would have.

I have no idea who Mrs. Ed is and I hope she enjoys her applause.

John Sandel said...

Dive, I admit I pressed it. The button was drawn, by persons unknown, on the blank wall of a disused stone building in a ratty cul-de-sac in Los Angeles. The building had been shut up for decades, it seemed, but I happened by from time to time. Each day the joke button caught my eye, so one day I crept up with the specific object in mind: rouse someone with the impossible figure of ink. Nothing happened—at first. So I pressed again, harder. My fingertip yellowed with the strain (I pretended I was back in NYC, ringing one of my old mates' walkups). I let up, waited, and then—dimly, as if from deep inside the stone—I heard a faint bell ring. The sound died away, leaving only the traffic hissing past. I was dejected. I'd come out on my morning break to try the thing! I turned away—and thought I heard a footfall behind me. I turned back and saw no one: only the blind stone, painted a sickly beige. But then, again: that soft sound, from beyond the wall, of someone approaching … a heavy tread, as of a person in boots. I watched the wall; was there some secret door? I had almost given up, when I spied something in the wall—a movement, as if in the grain of the stone itself. Gradually it assumed form: the figure of a little man, deep within the wall. I could see him indistinctly, as of through a scrim. I realized I was seeing him through the surface of the wall! He emerged from the unnatural depths of the stone like a man wading through a thick fog. I was rooted. I stared. He approached me slowly, laboriously, as if by some great effort. His limbs, though diminutive, were stout. He stopped short of the wall's inner surface and looked up at me—impatiently, I thought—as if I'd disturbed him. He work a leather jerkin and thick boots, scarred by travels within the stone of the forgotten building. He looked as if he'd spent centuries within the walls, plodding about. In his hand he held a small mason's hammer. I might have glimpsed the dust of stonecarving in his little beard, in the folds of his collar. I was dumbfounded; the world around me seemed to have fallen away. I opened my mouth to speak, but he raised his empty hand with an odd gesture: he covered one of his ears. I took this to mean that he couldn't hear me through the stone, or that he was deaf. At last he dropped his incurious gaze, turned away and, with a downtrodden gait, returned to the weird depths whence he'd come. The last I saw of him was the glint of his hammer, the turn of his bootheel—then he disappeared within the wall and I was left, blinking like a dog, at a blank stone wall. Somewhere a car horn honked and the city resumed its presence around me. I shuddered a little. I made so bold as to touch the wall, which was solid and real. I touched the hand-drawn button again, tentatively—but stopped. I hesitated; I was suddenly loathe to risk ringing that impossible bell again. Who was I to summon the little man from within the wall? Were I to trouble his dimension again, would he come again, this time in anger at being disturbed? So I gave it up—I walked away without a backward glance. I never returned, but once, on an errand … I chanced down that desolate street again, and remembered what I'd seen, and hoped to see the button on the wall. But the middle of the block as empty: where the old stone building had stood was now a vacant dirt lot. The wreckers had come and gone—urban renewal had claimed another relic of the past—so I think I will never see that little man again.

Petrea Burchard said...

Okay, so he pressed it.

Trish said...

lol!

Petrea and John, now I know why you're married!

well, that and the long drives in the country together.

can't add anything more to that Zen!

wv: hamburgen...ok, now I'm hungry AND laughing!

Petrea Burchard said...

Trish, he was typing away. I thought he was on Facebook.

dive said...

What a wonderful tale, John. Thank you so much for that.

Margaret said...

First, you must believe.

Virginia said...

I"m lame at Zen Monday but I knew this was John.
V

Virginia said...

I'm going out here looking for this stuff.
V