-- Num ---- Username ---- Category ------------- Posted -- Expires --- Pages ---
| 71830 | WHITELA      | CHATTER              | 11/01/95 | 11/15/95 |     3    |
| Description: The inner workings of buildings and people                      |

I work in a clean, white, right-angled building; neat and uninteresting
to the eye.
About a week ago, the usually pristine white-tiled ceiling got a big
brown concentric organic water ring right at the bottom of the stairs.
After a day or two, somebody sent a vase beneath the water mark, and it
filled up with some liquid that looked suspiciously like a urine sample.
The following day, the vase had been ousted, and replaced with a more
heavy-duty guardcan.  Yesterday, some men on ladders looked at the spot
and made some knowing humming noises as their walkie-talkies blasted
numbers and parts and details about emergency transformer and electrical
Today, there are more and more men in blue poly-cotton blend: on ladders,
jangling keys, blaring static, peering upwards, wielding scary medieval
tools. They have removed large groups of ceiling tiles, and for the first
time I can see into the bowels of the building. The dark pipes and beams
and girding and wires are an interesting contrast to the usual synthetic
sterility of the ceiling.
I see parallels between ceilings and people.  Most people appear synthetic
and organized on the surface. However, as soon as something begins to
break down inside, those organic brown marks surface. Maintenance is
required, and people gather 'round brandishing tools. The facade drops
away, and passers by get an intimate view of the workings, of the
I never really liked my building until today, until I saw beneath the
orderly facade to the dark jungle of pipes below.
I feel the same way about people:  after I've seen them fall apart, after
I've seen the jumbled mess of their inner workings, I can begin to
appreciate them for who they really are not for who they seem to be.
thas' all.