Paul Tarragó





Arguments for an empty room



It is a space that shapes, a boon, an asset. A container, a repository, a suggestion. And we can now confidently add to that: an inheritance, an investment, an aid – exclusively and uniquely purpose-driven.



Room or shed? Building or box? Portal or fully sealed unit?


These sound like choices, but they’re not. They’re decisions.


A: At this stage I’d consider them options. In our bracket, and at our age, they’re options. Clearly.


B: Sealed unit?


A: Okay, that’s the exception. That’s talking new-build. Unless you’re doing a portal conversion – if you can do that from the outside.


B: Doors swing inwards, so it’s doubtful. Door swings in: you lose your emptiness.


A: Is that the way it works, though? The door’s part of the room, surely, so how can it ‘enter’ the room?


B: It defines the boundary – the room starts where the wall ends. If it falls or swings in it enters.


A: And if the light fitting were to fall from the ceiling? Is that entering? It’s already in the room.


B: Then it can’t enter. It would have to exit first.


A: For how long? How long before it became a thing from outside rather than part-of-the-room?


B: It would have to do more than just swing in and out. It would have to rest outside for a period.


A: Rest or be lodged?


B: It’s inanimate; I can’t see it leaving the room and returning under its own agency. It would most likely be accompanied.


A: If it were to swing OUT then part of it would remain inside, so it would be both outside and inside simultaneously. It would be in between states.


B: But, again, accompanied. And the likelihood of a light fitting reaching a doorway and still remaining attached to the ceiling must be low, very low.




Points of clarification:


If the ceiling rose were positioned sufficiently closer to the door than the opposite wall, and the flex were long, then it would accommodate such an arc.

If the ceiling were very high, and the doorframe very tall, then this would further add to the potential of such an action.

To set it in motion there would need to be a sudden crumbling – of the hole in the ceiling on the side adjacent to the door.


If these conditions are present: it could happen.



Next time: If you remove the walls does the empty space cease to exist?



Paul Tarragó is an experimental filmmaker and writer living in London. Recent writings appear in The Wrong Quarterly, 2HB, decomP magazinE, SO MUCH FOR FREE SCHOOL, ETC. (Five Years), as well as his short story collection – The Mascot Moth and several other pieces. He’s currently working on a second collection entitled The Water Rabbits

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