30

Crazy winds. Crazy, crazy winds all day. Hills for days too. Despite all that, not bad. Columbus, GA. Stayed at a Super 8 last night. $75 after taxes ($5 + 16% city tax). I’m a little sick of this. I’m going to have to endeavor to stay away from cities if I don’t have a host. Columbus, however, was enroute to Auburn, so….
Leaving Columbus now. There is some sort of festival downtown. Streets packed full of pedestrians. Tables setup along the sidewalks selling a whole variety of things: soaps, oils, clothing, jewelry, furniture, antiques, tchotchkes, so on…

I stop at Iron Bank Coffee, named for the fact that the building was once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away a bank, for a shot. It’s bad, despite the roaster being Counter Culture. This is an unfortunate regular occurrence in the so-called “specialty coffee” world. Lack of education and knowledge. Laziness. The space the cafe occupies is marvelous though. Enormous; voluptuous; high, high, ceiling; loads of windows to let in that light that is loved so much; long communal tables, or variously shaped tables pushed together or pulled apart; whatever you can sit on; separate rooms in the old bank vaults (doors still attached) in the back; a glorious array of various chandeliers suspended from the ceiling; original hardwood floors.

Speaking of old things, so much of the city is. It’s not surprising. It was obviously once a hub of industry on the Chattahoochee River. Now many of the buildings are abandoned and falling into ruin. They provoke a certain sadness in me, but there is also something beautiful about these disused, dilapidated churches, factories, houses, apartment buildings, etc. The decay, the negligence, the faded bricks, the worn paint, the broken windows, boarded up windows, the tall weeds, the shattered signs, the signs that now only glow with a dull, attenuated light when the sun is at the correct angle with the Earth are wonders to behold. Is it because they tell a story? Or do they simply provoke questions, wonderings about something that once was but now is not? What were these buildings like during those years when production was at a high? What was the city like? How were the people? It seems to me that these buildings and signs are incapable of telling a story at all, these silent buildings and mute signs. They’re like a blind man with his lips sewn shut, resigned to his fate, unable to control his own destiny. But, it is very easy for one to create a story for himself simply by imagining, and that is something so easy to do if one stops to look, reflect, allow the mind to wander.

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