John is a guy, just like you or I. John is a little different, but he’s just the same as you or I. John laughs, cries, has fears and resentments; in short he has feelings, just like you and I. Not everyone however, thinks John is like you or I.
I speak for John and john speaks for others who walk in his shoes, who look through his eyes and who feel with his hands. John is a guy like any other; he has a few friends, he loves to paint and has a place he calls home. Well he had a place.
If you’ve ever walked down Abbey street, you will have admired the facade of this building. On Abbey street which can be quite grey both in color and in atmosphere, this is a welcome change to the brick and grey. The colors on the wall, the beautiful tiling on the staircase and the door are just beautiful and John did this himself. Remember I said he is an artist?
If you haven’t noticed this yet, then shame on you. There really is no excuse; you need to keep your eyes open when you wander the city (wherever you are). The truth is that John never owned this place, instead he popped in one day and never left.
He made it a home.
He made it his home.
He lived there for years. Occasionally, you would see him outside with the door open, talking to his friends and talking to his ‘neighbors’. He never bothered anyone and no one bothered him until one day. Someone must have realized he’d been staying there and decided it was time for him to leave a place that was empty before and would be empty again after he left.
Where John is now, I don’t know since he left. I hope he’s good, I hope he’s well. The truth is that John is not alone. A few years ago, I met Peter; another artist who had moved into a place he shouldn’t have been in. He had transformed a cold glass and metal structure into a warm home of art and design. He saved works of art that were outside his door and was a lovely jolly old guy.
Peter was also removed from a premises that would lie empty after him. How long are we going to allow this to happen? How long will we let the ‘owners’ of these places destroy what it means to live in our city and hold back the potential of beauty in the city? I don’t know anymore. It is one thing to use a place and live in it and care what it is used for. It is another thing to hoard houses and stop them from being homes.
Nozzle & Spray
– All names changed and artistic license taken –