Environments trigger more sensations in me in than music, art – maybe even people. It’s why I rearrange my bedroom when I’m upset, it’s why a disheveled office inspires curiosity, it’s why naval air stations trigger plasmic releases from my nether regions.
It was my first excursion to the Alameda Naval Air Station at night. Everything from the security lights just bright enough to meet code, to the massive ships that were the finest examples of neo brutalist architecture on a floating city, made me wish I was my own tour guide. I would have stopped twenty times to take it all in. Exploring dark lot after dark lot, and being troublesome in the matrix of buildings on the grounds had my imagination preoccupied.
Eventually we stopped. There was a view of the city washed in amber fog to my right, an essay on gigantism behind me, and a landscape of “can’t-play-here-tonight”s in front of me.
I was literally soaked. Fences and restrictions were everywhere. Desire is in distance and you always want what you can’t have. I desired the crushed cars behind the chain link, I wanted to trace every building edge with my index.
“Molested Tour Guide” may be an honorable badge to wear on the Disneyland Jungle Cruise, but I don’t know how Alameda takes extra pin holes in its tweed lapel. It took all of my energy to ignore my pulse.
Three moments replayed themselves over and over again in my head as we drove around: my physical therapist opening up my cranial synarthrodial joints to regulate the flow of my cerebrospinal fluid, being penetrated on the edge of an ocean hugging cliff during hours I rarely experience awake, and surrendering all of my senses underneath a massive rooftop air conditioner.
Environments trigger, but people are still an important part of this trigger. It’s not the trees or the clouds that get me there, it’s the human designed environment.