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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Friday August 23, 2002
07:17 PM

Kowloon Walled Pod

[ #7275 ]
Dear Log,

Last night I wrote lots more Pod tests... I spent a while chasing a bug that those uncovered, which ended up being quite difficult to find, because I was sure that m/([^\n]*)/g had to be acting one way ("correctly"), but it turned out to be matching more 0-length strings than I expected -- there are no many nothings around, it's quite a trick to figure out which ones you want.

But I got it all ironed out, by dropping in a better RE.

Then I had that sort of dream again: variations on the theme of "I'm back in Chicago and all the buildings are weird". To an L.A. creature like myself, architecture in Chicago (and in Evanston, and at Northwestern specifically) felt like something out of Hak Nam, so it stands to reason that imagery of it crops up in my dreams.

In this dream, the maze-like corridors and stairwells of my old apartment building not only open into a disused part of the Northwestern library (as established in a previous dream, of course), but this time actually feature the interesting/annoying phenomenon of doors that no-one has opened for years and years, and that no-one even knows what is on the other side of. You know the kind -- the hinges are painted over, and usually there's something odd about the door -- like it'll never just have a simple doorknob; no, it'll have a double-keyed deadbolt lock, and no knob at all; or maybe it'll have an anomalous push-plate (grimy but untouched for decades), or a hydraulic return (covered with oily dust). And it'll never ever have a sign -- because god forbid it should say "roof access" or "electrical closet" or "boiler room" or even just "staff only".

In real life, I've attended a lot of schools that had doors like that by the dozens. One weekend, years and years ago, I went vadding around school with a friend of mine who was clever with a lockpick, and we went around to forgotten doors like that, opening them to see what was behind them. It was fascinating the amount of "dead space" that there is in old school buildings, and also how many strange doors are left around to access that dead space -- presumably in case it had to be gotten to if a pipe burst or something, or maybe the building contractors were being paid by the door.

Maybe next month, my dreams will be about the phenomena of The Intercom Panel That Hasn't Worked Since the Early 1930s, or The Lightswitch That Doesn't Seem To Control Anything; and then the month afterward might be That Cable Coming Out Of The Wall That Ends in an Ancient and Dusty Plug of Forgotten Purpose.

Check local listings for details.

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  • Just visited a friend for the first time at his new apartment, and noticed something on the wall that -- at first -- I thought to be a partly-uninstalled phone of some sort. Nope. It was the intercom. I listened to it, and a buzzing noise could clearly be heard, indicating the disturbing thought that not only was this thing utterly forgotten, but someone is paying for a buzzing noise to be transmitted over it!

    I wonder what things will be found like that in a hundred years, or even twenty. Now it's doo


    You are what you think.