Monday, May 26, 2008

Up on the roof

The building we live in has a fairly odd idea of "amenities". The standard items are here, the gym, rec room, the pool, etc. If you squint and hold your head the right way you can even see them. Tilt you head the other way and they are gone. It's like looking at one of those wiggle pictures depicting the passion. Tilt it this way, it's the sacred heart. The other way, it's the Crucification. This way, it's a gym and rec room. That way, it's a white concrete hole with a curl machine and no bathroom.

The pool on the roof looks fantastic on the web site. In person it is somewhat larger than a king size bed. It is three and a half feet deep in the shallow end and four and a half feet deep in the deep end. Next to the pool is a hot tub. It is most definitely larger than a postage stamp. There is also a tent thingie for shade and a table and some chairs and the kind of chaise lounge that really shows the dirt. But none of this is the point. The point is that there is a rooftop deck available for unwinding the day, on any day that you feel the need to be unwound.

You can't actually see the sun set from the deck, but that doesn't matter. It's quiet and lightly breezy and the colors fade in that rosy pastel way you just don't get in less smoggy cities. I like to go up to the roof at dusk with a travel mug of rum and coke and lay on the grimy chaise and think about nothing.

Last time I was up there, there was a guy at the one table with his laptop and headphones. He was a large Hispanic guy with a very relaxed demeanor. He told me he had moved into the building with his girlfriend just a few days ago, but he would be gone in six weeks, shipped out to Afghanistan with the Army. His service was supposed to end next month, but he had been "stop lossed" for the second time. After eight years in the military, this would be his first overseas posting.

Our building has twelve floors and a penthouse floor (only the fire plaques say "13th floor") and another floor above that, which comprises the upper floor of some penthouse apartments, as well as the pool. A thin man and a huge dog emerged from one of the apartments, and the dog brought the man with him over to the pool gate for a meet n' greet. My friend said that the thin man had leased a number of penthouse lofts in a row, and was planning on living in one and running a delivery restaurant from the rest. "Most of these lofts up here" He said, "are being rented by people running businesses."

We talked a bit more about politics, family, the war.

Although I suppose it was dark enough, the KRKD tower was not yet lit up. I took a photo of it and went home.

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