hammered concrete barbican brutalism

The Concrete Tower


A man lived alone in a concrete tower block. He wanted to remain alone.

The angles of the tower were aggressive and forcefully juxtaposed. The concrete had been hammered into predatory ridges.

The man found it impossible to fill the hours he spent away from his office job. He wanted to do many things: paint the skies outside his window; write about the few truths he knew; perform bittersweet love songs. The gulf between his desire and his ability was great, like the distance from his balcony to the ground.

The TV would be on, but it was just noise and colour. It was emptier than him. He would eat and he would drink. Occasionally, he would say something out loud to hear a voice. He would try to sleep but fail. He was constantly tired, never sleepy.

In the office, he shuffled stacks of paper. If someone came in needing a document, he would shuffle the stacks of paper and there it was. He was a magician when it came to shuffling papers.

At the end of each day, he would re-stack the papers before getting on a bus back to the concrete tower block. As a private joke, he would wonder to himself, ‘What am I going to do this evening?’



Photo by George Rex 

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Tom Spooner

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