Chapter 3 - The Old Man and the Corporation

MOVING THE COLOURFUL CABINETS

The 8th day of May in the year 2011 was a Sunday. A Sunday would have traditionally been a day of rest and worship away from the workplace if my memory serves, and even to this day my memory still serves its purpose somehow. However, this Sunday, and most of the ones that followed seemed to be busy with tasks for the “new & modern” people of the here & now who were now occupying my old and transformed workstation.

 

The excited man along with the tall man brought many changes to this workplace, and I observed these changes attentively on that spring day from the comfortable chair that had been left behind about a week ago. What was to follow in the days and months to come was a variation on the things I witness on this particular May 8th. In short, it was a day of movement, colourful expressions, various odd characters and artful cabinets that would come & go in and through this space. There were so many things which were planned to happen here mainly due to the combination of the excited man and the calendar he hung on the wall of our workspaces. I will need time and my memory to tell these stories, but for now, the initial “move shops into empty space” was occurring as written on the wall planner 4 days ago. Hence, I was learning what those five words meant by observing what was taking place around me on that Sunday. The empty space was indeed filling up.

There were also two other men who were moving boxes and large objects throughout the day until this space was filled with things that I did not quite recognize as of yet. There were many colourful wooden boxes brought here as furniture I believed at first, plus boxes, crates and plastic bins filled with hardware, tools, documents and industrial looking parts, some of which, upon closer look, I identified as electro-mechanical devices.

 

However their applications I did not understand just yet. Some of these mechanisms seems quite advanced, but still familiar in principle somehow to things I had seen before. I could see some similarities with what I worked with at the Crane Company in the tooling section, although in the here and now there seemed to be a decorative element mixed in with the use of these devices.

 

What was also interesting, and at the same time odd, was that there were also personal effects like clothes, kitchen utensils, serving plates, chairs and reading lamps, a desk, and a drawing table being brought here as well. These were objects that you would usually find in a dwelling or a family home. I couldn`t tell exactly how this would all fit into our workspace and whether this place of labour was becoming a place to live daily life as well. It would be strange to have both activities occur in the same space, - why would one do such a thing? This was the hardest thing for me to understand that day, even as I began to become acclimated to my new environment. Time would tell what the excited man had in mind, but I would have to guess that he was looking to incorporate both activities into one space judging by the objects that entered here. As time went by, it began to matter less and less what I thought was the right way for things to unravel themselves in the here and now. The differences from what I remembered as the normal values of my time were too great to bridge with the here & now it would seem. I began to trust the excited man as he was the one who would make sense of this for me through his actions and scribbles. Work and life did not appear to be separate in his mind, and I somehow knew that if anyone could explain this, he would be the one to do so. The only point that seemed troublesome to me about carrying out such a lifestyle, would be that the excited man would need to keep solid control on both intakes, the one for work and the one for life, and all the while making sure to keep that delicate balance in check. And this is not an easy thing to do when one is excited, it demands careful attention and much more discipline than most people can manage.

There was an upper platform build above a closed office which seemed to accommodate more of the objects one would use to rest and reflect rather than work. It looked like this space above the main floor,  what one would call an upper mezzanine seemed to be more designated as a living space than a work space. The fact that it was up a set of stairs and hard to see from the first level, gave it a sense of separation from the work area that was beginning to assemble here that Sunday.

There was another "set of rules" for the upstairs loft it seemed, simply via the objects that were carried up those stairs. They differed from the ones on the main floor, therefore that area did not seem to have the same usage. The small stocky man I had never seen before along with his helper carried up what seemed like a very heavy black box that was left behind when the first clean up occurred. The excited man said that this thing called a T.V. had no place in a workshop and ordered it put onto the second floor. It must be an object for relaxation I thought to myself, this big black box was quite ugly and ominous looking. It must be able to yeild a lot of glout judging by how much effort it took to get it upstairs.

But even as the boxes and cabinets continued to come in during the late afternoon, there was no bed to speak of in the objects that came here. There were blankets, books, decorative pillows and a place to store clothes along with a soft looking synthetic material on the floor to lay on and rest. It was very simple as far as living accommodations were concerned, and just enough to accomplish something significant for someone with imagination. 
 

As for the main floor & work space, there seemed to be a majority of the larger objects brought into that space that were not familiar at first. These objects which seemed dominant were a sort of colourful cabinet with light hearted decorative drawings on each side. The front of each of these cabinets was slightly slanted upward and had colourful small objects and more detailed drawings of the same nature/style as its cabinet, all protected under a clear glass, much like a display counter at a jewellery store, but in a vertical position.

 

Each one of these cabinets was about the same size and shape, but each looked different. I did not know what these were at first but they took up much of the space here when they arrived on May 8th. There were about 10 of these cabinets, maybe more, some were larger and some were smaller, but they all seemed to have a colourful essence to them that indicated to me a more leisurely item than necessarily useful. And I was sure that these were all called the same thing even if they all looked different.

  

The essence of these objects was the same in all those cabinets and colourful boxes that I saw come into this old workspace. These objects, much like a dog, or a human being can all look different, but you still instinctively know which beast you`re were dealing with.  A German Sheppard looks quite different than a poodle and could easily be interpreted as totally different animals, but we instinctively know that they are both dogs for some reason. It is the essence of the thing that matters. As for human beings, we recognize this animal as well when we encounter it, even if each and everyone of them looks different in size, gender, colour of skin, mannerisms, etc., it is still the same beast. All this to say that many different humans would come through this place because of the excited man`s plans, much like they had come through this place for the past 90 years or so and would leave a part of their energies behind.

I heard the tall man yell at one of the men who was moving one of these colourful cabinets. It was a cabinet with letters on the sides and had angular drawings of humans frolicking amongst the letters X & O. And on a colourful square glass in a square box were sets of numbers displayed, which seemed to be an extention to the cabinet being moved around. These two pieces logically must be the same machine, they simply were apart from each other to ease the transport from the old shops to the new shop as the excited man wrote on the planner a few days ago, hence warning me that such an event was about to occur. I could now match the words with what they meant in actuality as the event occurred. I was learning a lot through the words used and seeing what event resulted via the words he chose.

“Hey Moe,", was heard loudly, and then - "be careful with that pinball cabinet and back box, that machine is special.”  That is what the tall man said to the short stocky powerhouse of a man who was apparently simply called Moe out of all names. This man could lift a cabinet by himself despite his small stature, and that was admirable despite his unflattering name.

I think that these colourful things were called pinball machines, a term that was not completely foreign to me, but yet I could not connect the word to to object in my past memories as of yet They were a marble sort of game of luck and some factor of skill from what I remembered and were often used to allow patrons to win sums of money in public locations from the business owners and operators of these games..

What in the world were these things doing in this old foundry`s workspace and why were they being brought here ?

I wanted to understand, and not just know about what would happen here next. I wanted to know what was going on in the excited man`s soul, there was something unordinary occurring here in this old industrial workplace.