Thursday, November 12, 2009


Part of NOMENCLATURE's Galleria Series: Nov. 9-12

This day, I ride around the Galleria on my bike, trying to track down a bike rack. I am too late for the food court, as it usually closes around 4:30, but I have prepped by picking up Jimmy John's from the Euclid Ave. shop. I complete a lap of the building, but find no bike racks, which is odd, for it is a retail site in a city adjoined by a large office tower. How could there be no bike racks?

I eventually chain my bike to a bronze railing on some stairs leading to the rotunda. The bike cascades down 4 steps. I enter through the food court and the mall is already uncomfortably dark. In reality, I am in there beyond operating hours, but the door is open so I go inside.

I notice that the Cleveland Bar Association is having some sort of mixer in their office. I do not belong there. Taking my place at a table on the upper level, I unwrap my submarine, dial Charles Parsons. We discuss getting together Friday for the Kent State Folk Festival and living our lives like we are 22 again. He asks if I have paid off my Flaming Gyro debt. Not yet.

To my right, a couple of guys in one piece coveralls stare into a small art gallery. They are possibly in HVAC or pest control or escalator repair -- it is hard to say. But they stare for a long time at one painting -- a 4' x 6' canvas of fanciful humans with a great splotch of red in the middle.

-- I guess, one of them says, that most of these stores are for people that work in the office.

-- Yeah, says the other, too much bread for me.

But they continue to stand there, and eventually walk inside the space for it is very small and not staffed. I don't believe it even has a name. I continue to munch on my sub, glancing over from time to time to see the men gesturing wildly at the great red painting with the gold frame. They demonstrate lines of articulation.

I check back and they are gone. Time to leave I guess. I descend into the rotunda food court, now pitch black, and walk outside into the chilly November air, back toward my bike on the stairs.

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