You wander down to the design building which is separated from all the other university buildings and accessable only by a narrow alleyway -- this is where I studied the design course in 1998 -- people used to ask me "You're studying design? What sort of design?" I didn't know what to answer because the course I was studying was just called design and it was meant to be a starting point which leads on to graphic design or graphic art or industrial design or something like that. If you want to know what we did
in the course, well, it was basically a lot of photocopying. We learnt how to photocopy bits of text and stick them together -- we made drawings of photocopied magazines -- we photocopied the photos that we'd taken ourselves, and occasionally we even photocopied stuff we'd taken out of other people's rubbish bins. Every subject involved the "xerox" machine in some way. See that room over there in the side corridor? It's empty now, but when I was studying here it always had a queue of people lining up to use the photocopier.|
You feel a deep sense of peace here in this dead-end branch of the corridor. It's quiet -- the only sound is of the air-conditioners. There are no students in the room next door. Someone might pass through and glance at you, but they'd just assume you're a design student waiting to use the photocopier. There's no need to leave this place. You might as well stay here. In fact, you MUST stay here. You must stay
There is a stillness in the air, and for a moment you think time has come to a halt. But you know
it's just an illusion. You have a premonition that something terrible is going to happen tonight, out there in the world, unless you can find a place to hide. This place is a refuge, a shelter from thecold.
Above the photocopy room is an empty space -- under the slanted roof, a
level surface which is high enough that a person could lie down on it and remain
unseen by the people below. You could climb up there and hide. It wouldn't be too
difficult, either -- just take that chair and bring it over to that chest of drawers
-- go from the drawers to the pile of foamboard -- from the foamboard to the top of the cupboard
-- the cupboard to -- yes that's it -- you've climbed all the way up.
You lie down on the roof of the photocopy room amongst the cobwebs and dusty old computer boxes.
It's not the most comfortable resting place, but at least it's warm and dry. You suspect you will be
lying here for a long, long time. Try as you might, you can't think of a single reason why you should
come down from here. For the rest of your life, you will remain here on this hard wooden ledge, safely
hidden from the world and all its dangers. And when you think of all the normal people who have to
go out and work all day -- ha! What a bunch of suckers. This is a much better way of living.
Five hours later...
You hear a voice from below, saying, "Hello. Hey, you up there. Hello."
Uh oh. You've been spotted.
Someone is standing on a chair and looking at you. It's a student. He's smiling at you.
"I just wanted to ask, how come you're lying up there?"
You roll over to look at him. He doesn't look like much of a threat -- a friendly kind of guy...
You say, "I'm lying here because I've got no other place to go."
He asks, "Are you a student?"
Say yes. Say yes.
Say yes. Say yes.
You answer, "Yes."
He says, "And so, you're lying up there in between classes? Do you do this often?"
"Serious? You think you've got no place to go? Man, there are heaps of places to hang out in Prahran. You know where I like to go in between classes? There's a little place on Chapel Street called Revolver Upstairs. Me and my friends nearly always go there during lunch break, to play pool and have a beer and sit around. The chairs are really comfortable. I mean hey, what's the big appeal with lying up there? Is it comfortable up there?"
"Well, what's so good about it then?"
"Well, it's... it's safe and no-one can see me."
"But that's no way to live, always being safe and out of view. You gotta take a few risks sometimes, in life. Otherwise you never have any fun. That's what I think. Hey, if you come down from there, maybe I could take you to Revolver and show you how much better it is. My name is Anthony -- I'm about to head over there anyway, with Dim and Dan and the other Design students. You wanna come?"
"Well, I... I think I'll just stay here."
"Ah, come on!", he coaxes. "You only live once. I'll even buy you a drink."
Do you want to accept Anthony's invitation?