i'm surprised more people don't leave
intentional traces of themselves. is it because
people are so in the moment that they give no
thought to its passing, or are they unaware that
all moments pass and it might be worthwhile to
send a message from the future past? most of the
places we pick over hardly seem haunted at all.
today's location--1408 14th avenue--was a
slight exception. we were there to salvage
several hundred square feet of 3/4" fir
floorboards hidden beneath generic pile carpet
typical of rental conversions. it is a
fine house, large and well-constructed,
only recently divided into four apartments. sold
now, it's going to be knocked down, replaced by
a 6-story mixed use building.
in the interim, it's been home to squatters who
littered its porch
with garbage and made a stinkhole of the cellar.
still, inside it was immaculate: clean carpets,
new cabinets, fresh
paint--a curious contrast to the mess and
stink at the front door. it was strange ripping
up the carpets and tearing into the floors of
what looked like a house waiting to be moved
into. under the carpets, ingrained in the
floors, a few brittle sheets of a December 1,
1937 newspaper. why were they there? what
purpose had they served? a forgotten dropcloth?
a protective layer? or was it a sort of
intentional time capsule? if the latter, it
showed how little things have changed: even then
the newspaper consisted mostly of ads.