In an earlier post about Sonia's loft, I wrote about the psychological damage that can be wrought by making your child sleep in something other than a bedroom and, what that might do to her self esteem. I'm sure that in many situations these may be seriously legitimate concerns but, to be honest, I was just having some tongue in cheek fun. I am reminded of a man I knew. His quandary was about; weather or not to circumcise his new born son. On one hand, he felt that at it's core, circumcision was a barbaric primitive ritual of mutilation designed more to be a mark or a branding to identify and differentiate their tribes of peeps and, in so doing, hopefully remain unadulterated by those who chose to believe something different. How well has that worked? He further went on to scoff over the health benefits of circumcision as it was a practice begun more than 5,000 years before any true, evidential science or real medical knowledge existed on this planet. On the other hand, he earnestly worried about the possibilities of his son being irreparably screwed up by identity crisis issues as he grew older...Why doesn't my penis look like dad's. It must be an impossible thing to explain to a two year old and how will it manifest it's self when puberty rears its throbbing head? Though the comparative of primitive male genital alteration(think sharp stones or, sea shells when they began doing this) and making your kid sleep in the kitchen may seem on the opposite end of the parenting spectrum, there are clear parallels. As for those concerns, I had none as in building Sonia's loft, I had created for her a baby bear version of the papa bear configuration. She was delighted.
Among the many reasons I have for loving my apartment, it's consistent saving grace has been its ceiling height. Though the apartments plan is just 400 square feet, by it's ceiling height it has a 600 square foot apartment's equivalent of cubic foot volume. Fully realizing its value, I've tried tried to exploit it where ever I could. As a result, objects and art work rise to almost every wall's tallest dimension.
When I first took the apartment the loft existed as an opened platform that was strangely an inch and a half shy of being wide enough for a queen size mattress. Fixing that issue of width was as easy as an extra 2"x4" upon which I screwed a length of 2' plywood shelving so as to create the blind. The blind not only serves to prevent me from rolling out of bed to the certain probabilities of being killed or crippled, it also gave me a perfect wall to hang the Ichthyosaur fossil. Some might feel that the visual pun of sleeping with the fishes, a la Luca Brasi may be a bit on the ominous side of macabre but, to sleep like the dead is only meant to describe a deep and undisturbed slumber. And, perhaps one needs to remember, the Ichthyosaur isn't really a fish.
Access to my loft is by what an old girl friend coined as the sladder (part stair, part ladder). I pried it from the wall to which it was attached and moved it a foot further toward the center of the room so as to create an extra 2 square feet of platform. In a small space those couple of square feet may often represent the difference between awkward and comfortable. Moving the sladder did eat 2 square feet of floor but it gave me an extra 10 cubic feet of storage. That may not sound like a hell of a lot for all of the effort but, in a tiny pad with only one real closet, it's a hallelujah moment. The trade off was a no brainer, 2 wins to one loss.
My office is in what was once a dressing area and closet. My desks are made out of same re-purposed shelving as Sonia's. Beneath my computer, the floor is a block of stone baring evidence that in its earliest iteration, I would be sitting in front of where the stove once was.
Henry Moore's most prized and inspirational objects was an elephant's skull. The prize of this fleet is the human skull. My dad told me that she was 1,500 years old but, didn't know where she came form. She lived to be approximately 28 years old and remarkably has all of her teeth. Before she died she went blind. Evidence of this is found in a large convex deformation on the left side of the occipital plate. The brain tumor that would eventually kill her blinded her first by its origin in the part of the brain reserved for vision. My dad used to call her Alice. I have no idea why? Who was Alice? What did the name mean to him? Was she a lost love? Was she a woman for whom he had affection or, loathing? Alive or lost, another mystery about my dad, another thing that I'll never know.
If you possess an ostio-intrigue or are bent to the point of paleo-curiosity, most of my specimens can be found for surprisingly reasonable prices at uptown N.Y.C.'s Maxilla Mandible, just north of the American Museum of Natural History or, down town at Evolution. They are both absolutely fascinating stores.