MET Part 16 — Just For You III

Feb 27

There is a slowly collapsing building in the Russian region of Kamchatka. The barren, grey monolith rests on the coast of the frigid Okhosk Sea. This eroding structure is all that remains of the once bustling fishing village of Kirovsky.  Founded in 1907, the community was named after Sergei Kirov — a Bolshevik commander and close confidant of Joseph Stalin. In the late 1950s, international fishing vessels began drift-netting the Okhosk, depleting the once fertile waters. By 1964s, the village was all but abandoned. The barren Okhosk slowly rises to this day, lapping at the foundations of this once robust concrete apartment complex.

Years ago, I spent a summer squatting in this structure. I had run aground at the end of a long European tour and was invited here by some enthusiastic concert-goers from the nearby town of Mil’kovo. We arrived after 2am one night and had the run of the place until dawn. In the dim morning light, wary of attracting the attention of the politsiya, my comrades returned to their homes. I stayed to regroup and reconsider.

The building was surprisingly free of rubble and vandalism, other than what my crew had left behind. I set up a sleeping bag and makeshift workspace in an empty two-room apartment near the front of the building. I was positioned well away from the cement blocks, pipes and metal framing pieces that occasionally came crashing down into the waves to the rear. My room was connected to a dingy, rat-infested main hallway that lead to the front entrance.  If I left the complex during high-tide, the water would be up to my waist, so I stocked up on food and other supplies when water was at a low-ebb. 

Even when the moon was fully wanned, the clear, cold nights in my Kirovsky home were bright with galactic illumination. I could see the Orion Arm wheeling above. I could see constellations of sympathetic lights, descending, moving in unison then returning — becoming barely perceptible points in the far-off regions of space.