Is place defined by a location or by your location? (To say nothing - or, nowhere - of Point B.) Must you be somewhere to determine it is there at all? What is the difference between defining what is place and what exists as space and does architecture build the walls that create the environment within or is the architecture only what is seen from the outside, the face of what is internally and publicly unknown, the face of ownership and perhaps even loss, or longing. I would argue dreams of architecture do not include power outlets, water pipes, freezer burn, peeling paint, crumbling foundations sliding down the cliffside. The slats of wood constructing the pentagrams holding together the geodesic dome do not meet each other, peppered with nails like jewelry, oozing insulation. Façades are proposals forged to counteract opinions by forcing introductions, even if you do not want to meet.
I caught my first mouse today with peanut butter that had baited the trap months ago, upstairs where I sleep, under the record player next to the window. Upstairs where it has been smelling dank, my books rippling in waves where I had left them flat.
I could not see the mouse's head in the jaws of black plastic defeat. Its body was plump and limp, fat, like an albino fig consumed by mold, the feet like tiny staples. I stared at it for awhile not knowing what to do right away, what I was supposed to do. Check for rigor mortis or rush to grab the broom? It did not move and I felt unmoved. I swept it into a plastic bag, trap and all.
I wonder what kind of architecture exists inside a mouse trap. Is it a room only a mouse head can enter cozily before snapping out of its life? And if the mouse survives the trap by misfortune, can it look around to marvel at its surroundings, turn its head or at least dart its narrow sight around to note the mechanism of the spring and the sliver of light where the cheap jaws of the trap do not overlap? Did it notice the yellow tile on which I had carefully placed a fingerful of cheap Jif peanut butter, the tile yellow like a corn kernel, the Jif like cat feces. Creamy, salted. Choosy moms choose Jif. I will teach my children to catch and prepare their meals with ease and with skill.
A structure will always sit in its place, regardless of who comes and goes inside. What color paint should talk to the world, and with stone accents or no shutters? How good is this angle on Google Maps Street View? A building builds nothing except for recognition.
In a home there is no question of place when you are there. And when you are not there you learn to adjust your eyesight to the details around you, to recognize what is and was not before you left, where your negligence to inventory turns into the fodder of espionage and accounting. It teaches you the way to acknowledge the familiarity of details, to expect the stone to grow moss but not to roll away.