If These Walls Could Talk
*In this exercise we were told to write a story about a place, with no to very little dialogue or characters. So, I did a tribute to the amazing members of The Studio, using our walls.
If these walls had something to say they would whisper about the struggles they’ve seen. They would tell tales of people’s ability to persevere, to hang in there, to not stop when the going got tough. Even damn tough at times.
The walls are ordinary at first glance: studs every 16 inches, framing and supporting the drywall; primer and paint on top, with chips in the paint; cracks in the drywall; smudges from fingers. Just like any other wall you would find in a space where lots of people congregate, day in, day out.
It’s after that they get more interesting.
First, they were painted matte, which caused the first argument in the space.
“You have to use a high gloss paint in a commercial space,” he explained. But, she wouldn’t listen. These were her walls and she wanted a matte finish. A finish that showed sophistication of design. A finish that scoffed at the rules of regular design.
The bottom half of the walls were painted a dark shade of blue-magenta, almost imitating the shade of an iris blooming. A colour that reminds her of the fields by Chester Lake, on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, a day she will always remember.
The top half of the walls are white – another point of heated discussion during the renovation process, and another point she won.
They were white with a touch of grey to it. Exactly how she envisioned them in her mind’s eye, and a colour that brightened the space, and allowed its small footprint to open up.
After that each wall was a clear indication that this was not a retail space, not a restaurant, and definitely not a hair salon.
Along the walls were anchors and tools, every four feet, each creating a workout station for one person.
TRXs, foam rollers, exercise tubing, mats, and even a whiteboard defined each space. Sixteen in total. The whiteboard, which seems like the odd one out of the assorted fitness gear, was probably the most important accessory at each station.
It offered a place for the occupants to write their name, giving them an opportunity to get to know each other. This little whiteboard represented community.
The walls reverberated with music daily, while absorbing the moans, grunts, and groans of its occupants. They held onto these like cherished daily auditory memories.
Like memories of each occupant’s daily quest to reach their goals, goals ranging, and far greater, than just vanity. Goals that included self confidence and self love. Some of the hands that used the walls for support were here to help heal the pain, the pain of losing a loved one, the pain of losing themselves through the years, or the pain of losing their inner strength. They were building on the physical to help strengthen their character.
The walls provided the fasteners to the tools that could provide second chances.
That’s what made these walls special. That’s why these walls would hold your attention if they were to suddenly start whispering.