They are found everywhere, in every street and on top of every house: a multitude of forms that constitutes a type of architecture based on limit or frontier, heteroclite pieces of buildings patinated by the weather. It is as if these corniches and abandoned roofs, these dilapidated walls of bricks and old chimneys all belonged to another dimension, as if they were celestial with their elevated, open aesthetics and impaired by their own physicality.
The maturity that these thresholds halfway to the sky have acquired through the years exhibits a slower, different kind of time in which there would be another kind of time. And the weather, bathing in this time, turns much more present through the clouds that gives the day its plasticity.
Foreign to human presence for years or even decades, they belong to the domain of the wind, of the rain and of the pigeons. They are so close to the street, and yet there is a whole universe of inaccessibility within the hidden and unknown concealed therein and which can only be intuited behind these corners; the first but decisive set of stairs to the majestic, celestial solitude; a whole geography, a certain urbanism of high flight near the clouds to which this world gives substance and movement.
And the insinuations of vast distances in elevation, of enigmatic contact with remote places, with a celestial space made concrete, pointing at the sidereal dimension and forming a sleeping, almost living tranquility which in its own way is more a part of the wide depth from up above which embraces the earth and the city's agitated world.
There, away from the disciplined roofs of those pretentious, aseptic modern buildings of power and efficiency – with their angles and with the hardness of their concrete, steel and glass – a world of laziness reigns where a certain unique liberty rests in a wild state.
They are always there, almost unchangeable like the grey skies of childhood's boredom, timeless as if there were no tomorrow, or tainted with diversity like the comfortable clouds of a blue sky that activates the great call of the west, or the childhood temptation to be a brick (any of them), and experience up there the seductive and terrible duration of time.
And it confirms that the spirit of the place is indeed cosmopolitan.
(Published in El Rapto #5, December 2009)