Every morning I leave my apartment, lock the door, go down the stairs. I drop by a coffee-shop, then take my bus and go to my office. I never stop and in fact, do not look around - for a long time already. If I am asked what emotions I have experienced from today's stay on a bus or, rather, today's descending the staircase - most likely, I will not be able to answer.
My bus passes stop after stop; I don't pay attention to any of them; I gradually plunge into the city without pausing. The space seems to be swallowing me up. I am simultaneously 'staying' and 'relocating'. Stopping is scary. The city and my body are absolutely material, but I stop feeling it. This sensation ruins me; without leaving the city, I am at the same time out of it.
My body and my movement are in a continuous dialogue with the surrounding reality, but tangentially, as it seems. I feel like being immerged in a humdrum intermediate state.
Daily relocation increasingly becomes like staying in a place in which I am in fact not present. It's like walking through a thick and wild forest. And the farther, the more realistic this forest is.
My movement is harmonious, my steps intertwine with the surrounding sounds; the echoes of my favourite melodies are sounding in my head. I've always felt interest in the city's musical strings. Wires and rails; the space between them being like a gamut, without a special grid. And the melody each time is different. And the moment when I get on the tram I feel as if I am in that intermediate state. It is curious that the halt of expectation is as motional as the moment of relocation, as it is the same moment of waiting. It seems that non-space is perceivable only once. If so, have I really missed it right now? I stopped humming, I'm a little confused; the city is singing, it does not disturb my silence, it just accompanies my movement. What's the time? I completely forgot to think about it, I missed my stop, I halted at the moment of translocation. My movement through space is static. I would like to grasp this moment of my silence and of the city noise, the moment when I am singing without uttering a sound.
I feel more and more that the space for my own distraction is shrinking – I mean not reflection, but certain privacy. We seem to interfere into each other's spaces, making little of it; we are in a hurry, and at that moment of relocation we are totally merging with other people. I could describe it through sound and image. Everything I see around is people, their conversations, their silence or rustling, the objects that are fused with them, the innumerable signboards that express themselves so loudly that I absolutely can not find a place free of anyone's presence. The sounds are approaching and fading away; the more I try to keep away the more they absorb me. An incredible sense of continuity in which I have managed to find the rhythm. The pauses make me feel well. I would like to retain this feeling, the sensation of continuous pause, the absence of reflection, and being not visible to people. I look motionless for the others; suppressing the external noise, I manage to concentrate on my inner state – there's no place for you here, sorry. I share my space too often; but it is a city, after all, you might say, and all of us have to share it, you can't claim to have a special place. Could I invite you to my solitude? Just like this, to my fragile solitariness in a tram. This place is timeless in the present; you and me will find ourselves in a silent dialogue where you will be a guest and will in no way break my silence.
Presently I am watching, I am a participant of the process, I am a real dweller. Although, can I be a “real dweller” if I am watching rather than being watched? Having realized the nature of non-places, I have become more attentive; I can observe that my movement has stops now. This is somewhat like a historical building - I have knowledge about it and I convey it to someone; my listener has a right to believe me, a right to view this building; but neither myself nor my listener will ever be able to become residents of this house, of that time. The acoustics around me and that around my listener is always different, which means that we eventually are at different moments of perception. I seem as if I've lost my way in search of a non-place. Maybe - not. The tram is running further, and I manage to catch sight of "islands" in the city, those that separate spaces for men and spaces for cars; they seem to exist out of context, within their own landscape; and what if they stop to exist? I was thinking about it endlessly and failed to find the answer; anyway, it became clear that finding our own non-space, which is like an “island”, we find ourselves in one of the most protected zones: they have no information from outside. But, when watching the others in similar places, I seem to deprive them of individuality, sacredness, and unawareness - they become realized when my reflection gives meaning to them, ruining the harmony. But if I don't give up cogitation I get an incredible opportunity to observe the space as it is, as a product of my attitude to it.
I get off the tram and return to the city. Surprisingly, for all its simplicity, the stop becomes a place of return to reality for me. It is a place of contexture of the personal and the public - where the imaginary abstract forest turns into a structured garden, where space acquires function and the facets are so clear-cut that I need only to miss the stop in order to stay in my forest forever.