I stopped to admire the beauty doors at the entrance of c/ Alcala, 34 every time I walked by them. I imagined the doors’ heavy wrought iron bars as vines, germinating and unfurling into delicate, sinuous flourishes. After a few months, however, I began to ignore the doors, only acknowledging them subconsciously and as points of reference, as one so often does with familiar things in familiar places.
Did they lose their charm? Did their magic become mundane? Did they, once objects of intrigue, become background noise? After a long absence, I once again stopped to admire the doors’ details. I felt ashamed, as if I had been confronted and chastised by an old friend after neglecting to speak with him for some time. I stood in front of the door to examine it, inhaling the heavy and polluted Alcala air. Each element, I thought, of a unique place — architecture, sound, scent, weather, conversation, memory — is more than just “background noise,” but an instrument playing in the symphony of experience. At that moment I vowed to to stop and commune with my old friend every time I walk by c/ Alcala, 34.