Rotunda Dawn

It was unexpectedly moving to observe Ultraopticon live chronicle activity of urban areas across the world. 

I’ve wanted to break into The Rotunda since I was little. 

It’s windows would reflect burning orange and salmon pink sunsets as my feet stumbled and slipped on mushed cabbage leaves, my mom dragging me and my brother through homebound crowds in it’s cool shadow. The bus would take us to Granma’s, who would have Satday soup on the fire; a welcome meal after a long day being jostled, bumped and bashed by bags filled with booty on payday weekend. 

On the walk, up the hill, I would stomp as fast as my little leaden legs could carry me and resist the temptation to turn around. Because when I got to Granma’s front door, ahead of my mom, and brother who’d invariably been injured leaping off the bus, I’d be rewarded. 

The Rotunda would now be gleaming. Bright like a beacon. The last of the sunlight flaring off the glass on the top floor, the Coca Cola sign piercing the hot light as the sky darkened. I’d go cross-eyed to try to make out what temperature it displayed. 

I dreamed of jobs that would make me important enough to gain access to a building that touched the clouds. Predicted I’d be able see to the edge of the world. Wondered if there’d be someone to press the buttons in the lift, how long it would take for the observation deck to rotate, and would it make me feel as sick as I did on the waltzer? 

My mom cresting the hill with my brother on her hip, shook me to drink in the last of the magic – less than a minute before I’d be bustled inside, keenly greeted by my sister and then sent to go fetch summat from uppahouse for a grown up.

This morning, hearing air traffic control info from New Zealand over the screech of trains and whistling wind, I peered down to see market traders set up, the teensiest bit disappointed the top floor doesn’t rotate. But I found the job that opens the door to the building that touched the clouds.

And there was someone to press the button in the lift.

Elexi Walker

PS For images of The Rotunda as Lexi remembers them click here (we’re anxious about the copyright or we’d have posted the second image down).

Archive photo: Thanks to BrumPic
Dawn photo: Jim Smith

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