Friday, 13 June 2014

building No 41

Mmm: not really a building, but then again, I have seen people sleeping/peeing in them, and of course, phoning, before the age of small black oblongs of plastic. So, yes a small building of sorts.
There was always something comforting about standing in a phone box, ( not in those boring aluminium replacement things that BT installed in the 80s?) a certain satisfying weight to the door, and a smell - pee, but other things, dust, metal, a whiff of each person who had stepped inside the box that day, week, year even? Odd, but I can somehow recall it even now.
Depending on where the box was, there was always something to read while you were listening to Vivaldi's four seasons and trying not to shout at the insurance/gas/electricity company; perhaps one of those phone books in a sort of 'pull up and out' mechanism, an abandoned shopping list, or if it was around King's Cross, many lurid cards advertising services of flagellation/bondage/massage etc.
They were also places of lost things: wallets (mine) keys, sandwiches etc, and places of expectation, desperation, disappointment and excitement; a personal space borrowed for a few minutes while someone huffed outside in the rain, eyebrows knitted, waiting their turn with a British, resigned, tight frown.


Two beautiful phone boxes gracing Pool Park in Dorset.

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