I've worked in the same building for fifteen years, and it is one that is quite often called the ugliest on campus. Over my time there, however, I've learned to find the beauty in the ugly. Sometimes I tell people it is easy to do if they just embrace the mid-century modern aesthetic. But for me, it is in the small details: the light illuminating a hallway, the ill-fitting double doors I've walked through countless times on the way to the soda machine, the way that one hallway meets another meets another. People get lost in this building often, and even after fifteen years there are parts that remain a mystery to me.
I'm told that this building will be gone within the next five years, and as much as I look forward to one that is more functional in general, I will miss these spaces, even in all of their empty despair. Until then, I'll be documenting the beauty where I find it in my daily existence.
This might be one of my favorite serendipitous photographs ever. I'm sure I've shared it at some point in my LJ life, but it always brings me pleasure to revisit it. Once, when I was in a very dark place emotionally, I found this cassette tape on the sidewalk in a place not generally prone to random cassette tapes on the ground, and indeed in an era when cassette tapes of any kind were increasingly rare. Furthermore, it wasn't a place where I usually walked, and I happened upon it just when I needed it. Thus, the serendipity.
The description on the tape is as follows: "This cassette contains the original hits of your favorite artist. It is made with maximum quality, thinking of you. Thank you for your preference." Note the fact that it uses the familiar form - "tu artista" (rather than more formal "su artista"). This is even further evidence that I was meant to find it.
I've never played the tape, and I never will. I prefer the line of magical thinking wherein whoever picks it up is rewarded with their favorite hits from their favorite artist. And furthermore, since very few of us have but one favorite artist, that the tape will sense what is necessary in the moment, and present the musical selections accordingly. If I were to pass it off to someone new, their preferences would be represented. It is an instant spirit lifter for anyone and everyone. Whenever I need a smile, I visit my magical cassette tape and know that it was made thinking of me... and you, and you, and you, and you too.