From my sketchbook: Roller derby corridor house


A dream I had on the 21st of March and sketched into my workbook the morning after: I am visiting the apartment of some friends of mine, situated on the third floor of an old walk-up building, racks of clothes, footballs and other miscellaneous paraphernalia cluttering the communal halls. As I arrive at their front door, an awareness of a sound comes to me from the other end of the hall. I turn toward it, following it to its source. The hall has a timber floor, glossy from decades of use. The walls are covered in gently peeling wallpaper, festooned with some dense pattern, honey on chocolate. Skylight tubes hang low from the ceiling, requiring me to crawl underneath them to get past. I arrive at a double door, one slightly ajar, the sounds and smells of contest wafting out at me. Beyond the doors, filling an impossibly large space inside this cramped and crumbling building, is a roller derby rink, complete with change rooms, lockers, viewing platforms, a rollerskate shop and the rink itself. I watch the match, cheering along with the other spectators. I venture out onto the balcony, surveying the sprawling city below me (I find I am suddenly dozens of storey up in the air). I buy a pair of rollerskates for my wife from the shop, imagining her triumphing against the other players, elbows out and head down.

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