sketchbook: Sunday 15 July 2012

Sun 15 Jul 2012 ca. 1:00 pm Park Royal South

Again an oasis of seats, arranged in an open square on the tile desert of the mall concourse. Two teenage girls are sprawled and curled, respectively, in the rectangular sofa to my left; an old, thin aboriginal man scans his smartphone on the sofa to my right. I sit in a cutaway cube of a chair, and its counterpart is offset opposite me. Now an old Iranian woman, slowly pushing an indigo wheeled walker, has joined the aboriginal man on his sofa.

Slow caravans of human traffic cross the concourse; couples, groups of 3 and 4, solitaries. It’s a high cavernous space, with a great openwork of I-beams supporting the metal roof. Skylights let in a mild, milky, nearly shadowless light, augmented by incandescent pucks hanging far above the floor.

A vague continuous mechanical thrum, as of the conveyor of the escalators before me but more all-surrounding. But mechanical sounds seem to overpower the human chatter, which is fragmentary and echoing and punctuated with children’s shouts as at a public pool. There is an indoor playground called Fun4Kidz piled on the mezzanine, where many of these no doubt come from.

The teenage girls are gone; an Iranian couple has occupied the sofa and opposite chair with their stroller and infant son, curly-haired and squirming on his mother’s relaxed, laid-back lap as she spoons him food from a little jar. The father is preoccupied with a smartphone.

The old Indian man and old Iranian woman both doze on their sofa.

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