Dean stares up at the bare brick facade of the building in front of him. After walking away from this place over 15 years ago, he never thought he’d come back. Of course, that’s what most people tell themselves about their high schools.
It seems smaller now than it did when he was 17, but Dean assumes that’s just his perspective. Music and voices pulse from inside and Dean can feel the strange looks he’s getting from the other former students as they pass him on their way in.
“Here goes nothing,” he mutters to himself as he heads for the door. The first thing that hits him is the smell of the place, all at once overwhelmingly familiar and cloying: old wood, floor polish, the metal of the lockers, and the lingering odor of sweat from the student bodies normally lining the halls. Dean hates it but can’t help himself from taking another deep breath, the scent and memories washing over him as he does. He passes by the glass trophy case at
the entrance, glancing over the tarnished statues and plaques inside. None of them his, of course. Dean wasn’t on the football team or basketball team. The only time he’d spent at their school’s sports field was waiting for Sammy as he finished up soccer practice. Dean felt more at home tucked away in the metal shop or the tech room, tinkering on some project or playing Magic the Gathering with Harry and Ed.
As a bespectacled, awkward, and somewhat pudgy teenager, Dean had been the farthest thing from a jock anyone could imagine. He catches sight of his reflection in the glass of the case; can’t say that anymore, he supposes. The glasses are gone, thanks to Lasik surgery a few years back. The baby fat has long melted away, leaving only high cut cheekbones and physique his personal trainer could be proud of.
The only physical feature remaining of his adolescence is perhaps his stupidly bowed legs.
James walked into a cafe on a corner downtown, its brick facade gray and cracked. The tables around the edges of the restaurant were full with older couples in new clothes and young girls in vintage sweaters. His brother was across the way, sitting at a small, round table against the window. He held an espresso cup on his finger and looked down at a newspaper. He wore a polo shirt, striped red and white, and his hair had grown longer since the last time James had seen him. Neither one of them looked up until James had arrived at the table; he stood aside his brother, waiting for him to notice. He looked up.
“Holy shit,” said John. “Look who it is.”
John pushed his chair back, put down his miniature mug and stood up. He put his hand out, they shook hands and hugged briefly.
“Good to see you. Thanks for meeting me.”
“I had nothing else going on, so.” James looked around the shop.
“Can I get you anything? Coffee? A muffin or something?”
“I don’t really have any money.”
“That’s cool. I got it.”
“Then I’ll take both.”
John smiled, James did not. He continued to look around the cafe as his brother got up and went to the counter. The lights in the shop were dim and the windows dark and all of the paintings hanging on the walls were red and purple. Two girls across the way giggled while looking through a pile of photographs. John returned with a coffee and a doughnut.
“They were out of the good muffins,” he said.
“That works. Thank you.”
James removed the lid of his cup, ripped open two packets of sugar and poured them into the dark, steaming coffee. He looked around for a spoon, John handed one to him. He stirred a few times then took a drink and placed his cup back on the table.
“So, how’s life in the big house?”
John rolled his eyes, shook his head.
“It’s good. I’ve been trying to get you to come over, you know. You’re welcome anytime.”
“Right. Thanks but no thanks.”
James ripped his doughnut in half and stuffed a big chunk in his mouth.
“Where are you staying?”
“I got a place,” James said, his mouth full.
“Not too far from here. A friend of mine hooked me up.”
“Well I’m glad you’re doing alright.”
John took a sip from his coffee. He stared out the window. After a long silence, John reached down and pulled a long, thin box from his bag on the floor. He laid it on the table in front of them.
“I’m guessing you know what this is.”
“If it is what I think it is, then yeah, I do.”
“I told Dad I’d give it back to you. Well, he told me to give it back to you.”
James looked around the shop. He caught his reflection in the window. His cheeks and the top of his head were red, the rest of him white, almost grey.
“I don’t want it,” he replied. He took a drink.
“Well it’s not mine to have.”
“Dad gave you everything else, why not keep that too.”
“I don’t want it, James. It belongs to you.” John pushed it towards James. “You should have that on display somewhere, wherever you are.”
“It’s a sham, man. It looks more important than it actually is.”
Pequeños proyectos, grandes ideas. Una casa de mínimas dimensiones puede volverse un proyecto enorme, en la medida en que las ideas generatrices dan vida a un proyecto que refleja una manera de vivir, y se arraiga al lugar de una manera adecuada. El patio delantero que arma este proyecto atrapa la estética y materialidad de un barrio, con una visión moderna. Dentro se juega por un espacio unitario, con doble altura y una gran inclinación por el abalconamiento de los espacios.
nghia architect - maison T brick facade, hanoi, vietnam