Meditation I

2009 by Maurice van Tellingen

Parallel to the road, there is a wide ditch and on the other side of it there is a business park. A concrete bridge leads to the collective parking lot. There are several cars parked there: a blue Volvo with a small dent in the door, a non-descript pickup truck and a Peugeot 806. A small moped with a flat tyre and a bent down headlight is leaning against the building. The large garage doors are closed. Not a living soul is to be seen on the premises; all windows are either blinded or dark. From the road, the sound of passing traffic can be heard, and from afar every now and then the mooing of a cow. There is a faint smell of cow dung.

The building complex is in an isolated position between meadowlands, no trees, no shrubs, just ditches, grass and cows. About 500 meters further along the road, there is a half collapsed greenhouse, through its broken glass willows are shooting high up into the sky. On the horizon electricity cables, some trees and windmills. The sky is hazy, filtering the sunlight into a greyish white. A shadowless day, not warm, not cold.

An asphalted road leads around the first block of businesses to the second block behind it. On the left of the building, a rusty tractor is sitting on the edge of the meadow and a little further away there is a drinking trough for the cows. Here and there rolls of barbed wire are lying around.

One of the doors of this second block is ajar. The upper hinge has come loose, which is why the red door will not close anymore. Through the crack of the door a dark room is discernable in which nothing is to be seen. The small amount of light falling into the room only shows the dust in the air. A faint breeze rustles a piece of paper across the road, when suddenly a slamming door is heard in the other building, and then the starting of a car, which slowly drives away after that. Then the sound of a cordless screwdriver is also heard. A moment later all is quiet again, except for the soft murmur of the cars passing by on the motorway.

On the side of one of the buildings, the words ‘JOS I LOVE YOU’ are written in man-sized letters in white paint, while on the back of both blocks the tag of someone calling himself ‘SLICK’ is placed. On one of the corners ‘...‘ is written in pink chalk. The last letter has been wiped out by the leaves of a shrub growing against the wall. Of course there are company names above the different doors. ‘Goodwood Contractors Ltd’, ‘CARO tuning’, ‘DEVOPA’, ‘Clup’s catering’. A yellowed note behind one of the small windows of a garage door saying that nobody will be present during lunch hour. And the roof is topped by ‘LEVANT’ in large blue letter.

On the asphalted road around the two buildings white arrows are painted, indicating the direction of traffic. Left around the first building and clockwise back again to the parking lot. On the parking lot fourteen parking spaces have been marked out with white lines, two of those are marked with a wheelchair logo. On the concrete entrance bridge, on the right hand corner, the broken off hinge of a barrier. The concrete is cracked. There is some grass growing out of it. In some places a piece of concrete is broken off by a lorry manoeuvring with difficulty.