Monday, October 04, 2004

Take your picture off another wall

I took a different bus than usual home from my evening class tonight. Most routes take the same path through Centretown, the central Transitway line; this one doesn't, though it still gets me nearly as close to home as the others. Instead, it meanders through some narrower streets of Lowertown and Centretown before it leaves the downtown core, though it does take Rideau for a short distance. Thus, at 8:30 on a Monday night, I was idly looking up above street level on Rideau. That's rare; I'm not usually in Lowertown at night. The Scientologists have an office on the second floor of 150 Rideau. (The building directly to the left of this streetcar, though they hadn't moved in yet, as of that photo.) I'd never before noticed that it's completely lit - though apparently empty - at night. It seems to be a sad little place; at least, the room facing the street is. The room itself is dingy off-white, though that may have been the effect of nearby streetlamps. A giant portrait of L. Ron Hubbard hangs facing the window. Two sporty-looking backpacks are hung at faux-jaunty angles off to one faraway side. It's the backpacks that bother me the most, really. What are they? Are they Church of Scientology logo-ware? Are they free gifts for new converts? Are they mementoes of some church-sponsored trip or retreat from years ago? There just seems to be something unspeakably sad and miserable about those backpacks, and their display, a sort of feigned hipness that the mildly creepy Dianetics-hawking perky folk above don't quite understand. They yearn to, but the stern visage of Commodore Hubbard forbids it. It seemed oddly poignant. But then, it was a fleeting glimpse of an empty room, and such sights often are.


Blogger Dr_Funk said...

There used to be a video arcade on the ground floor of that building, good one too. Now there's just a piercing outfit..which is a nice counterpoint to the pointy headed crew upstairs....

10/07/2004 11:17:00 PM  

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