The Pyramid

  • 1. Auflage
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  • erschienen am 27. November 2017
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  • 282 Seiten
E-Book | ePUB ohne DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-5439-2033-8 (ISBN)
It's complicated, hard to explain really, but it made perfect sense to me. Although, honestly, it's a shitty book, don't let the first chapter fool ya. So I just been telling people the book's about a piece of art, 'cause when you're done reading it, you might not get that. And you know, good art is never about art anyway; it's always about something else. So the books not really about a pyramid. It's not a book anyone has to read either.
  • Englisch
  • 1,03 MB
978-1-5439-2033-8 (9781543920338)
This whole crazy thing started one day when I was at work with my brother John. It was a slow day; we were in between jobs and just sitting around in the office talking about nothing really, when out of nowhere I get this idea about a three-sided pyramid. I'm saying to John, What do you think? He likes the idea, and we started to talk about how great it would be if we could build this pyramid out in the middle of the Pine Barrens. There's a house we know about that's a mile or so down an old dirt road, and we would hide the pyramid way back in the woods where no one would ever know it was there. These ideas are popping out of my head fast as I'm dreaming them up-one just flows into another until I seem to have created the whole piece in its entirety. It was as if by just thinking about it or talking about it, we could see this pyramid completely finished, although I never left the chair I was sitting in, and John never moved off the couch. Now, beings though we were just goofing off anyway, we went back into the shop, and out of scraps of wood I cut three little seven-inch triangles, beveled the back edges on a sixty-degree angle, then glued them together. After that dried I got some spray paint and painted one side silver, one side black, and one side white. When the little model was done, it looked great! The concept, design, and color-well, lack of color-were brilliant. I couldn't believe this idea had come together so quickly, so clearly, and so perfectly. Once the little pyramid was done, it looked so good, we decided to make a larger model out of cardboard, and we duct-taped it together to get a feel for the size we might build later. We used a scale of one foot for every inch of the little model, so we ended up with a seven-foot pyramid taped together in the shop. But it didn't look or feel quite right; it was dwarfed, not very pyramidish, kinda puny. So, we decided to add two more feet to it. John and I cut more cardboard and attached it to the bottom with some more duct tape and sticks to get the pyramid to stand up without collapsing. When we were done, it was just right. The exact size was nine feet on all three sides-large but not massive. It was good because it was tall, but at the peak where it got smaller you could still see around it. The pyramid would be larger than its viewers, yet it would not overwhelm them. It was compatible in relationship to the size of a person that would experience it. At this point, we had all the important ingredients for this piece: the size, the shape, the color, and the location. After that, there was this sense that we had had an encounter, if you will, from something that I or my brother could not have conjured up, to follow these weird kinda ideas about a piece of art. As we were still in that presence, without really knowing it in any tangible way, we sat for a moment taking in the concept and the transformation from the idea that came while sitting in a chair to the nine-foot cardboard model we now stood in front of. I was sorta getting a sense that this thing was saying something to me like, Okay, that's it for now, the rest you're gonna have to figure out for yourself. After that, I went and got my camera so I could take a picture. I climbed up onto a platform in the shop to get a good view from above, and then: it was like this inspiration was about to leave us for a period of time, but before it did, it wanted to leave an exclamation point at the end of this day. So, I'm ready to snap a picture and this song comes on the radio, "Walk Like an Egyptian." John cranked up the volume; the music's blasting. Then, with one hand at the top of his head pointed forward and his other hand lower facing behind him, he lifts his one leg up and starts dancing around the Great Cardboard Pyramid and I took this picture of him. After work that day I brought the little seven-inch wooden pyramid home to show my wife, Maura, and our three sons. I was still a little high from the events of that afternoon. I was telling them about my idea, how all the pyramids in the world were four-sided and I was going to build the first three-sided pyramid. I felt like I'd just invented the lightbulb. I couldn't imagine how nobody had ever thought of it before. My kids, however, were quick to tell me, Oh, no, I don't think so, Dad. There are lots of three-sided pyramids in the world. Okay, I said, Name me one. They couldn't, but they were sure of it. I have three sons; two of them I think were in high school at the time, and ya know, were way smarter than me. So, just to prove me wrong, they went looking for three-sided pyramids on the Internet. Back in those days Google was just a tiny little dot-com. They weren't the know-it-alls back then, like they are today. So, finding very specific stuff was always a crapshoot. They found no three-sided pyramids, of course. But what did come up was the Great Pyramid built on the Giza plateau on the west bank of the Nile River in Egypt. Built in the fourth dynasty by King Khufu around 2550 BC. His old man built pyramids, as did Khufu's sons. People sometimes connect this pyramid with King Tutankhamen's, but that wasn't discovered until 1922, where they found all these beautiful pieces of priceless Egyptian art. King Tut's tomb was built four hundred miles south of Khufu's in the Valley of the Kings over twelve hundred years later and was carved into the mountains there. But King Khufu was the one who had built the largest one ever, what everybody knows as the Great Pyramid, the Seventh Wonder of the World. Some experts will tell you (depending on what account you read) that it probably took about a hundred thousand men working about four months every year in the desert for probably twenty years or more to build this insane super-structure. It's estimated that it has about 2,300,000 stone blocks that average 5,000 pounds each, which would come to 11,500,000,000 pounds. (Yes, that's eleven billion, five hundred million pounds.) The base of it covers over thirteen acres. Just to give you a little idea of how big this is, Khufu's pyramid would fit just inside the fence that surrounds the entire White House compound. That's how gigantic this thing is. Now try to imagine pushing almost 2.5 million five-thousand-pound stones for twenty years until they finally reached the top. It's 480 feet high, almost fifty stories. Each of the four sides is 740 feet! That's longer than two football fields put together, including both end zones, and it's only a half inch out of perfect level. When all that was done, the pyramid was completely covered with limestone and polished smooth to reflect the rays of the sun which the Egyptians worshipped. It just blows my mind to think about someone building something on such a massive scale like that so long ago. I can't imagine the size of an ego a king like that must have had. But no, I'm not going to get that crazy with this one. Nine feet is big enough for me and it doesn't have to last no 4,500 years either. Our debates over three- and four-sided pyramids lasted a couple more days, and then were forgotten about with time. To this day my kids have not shown me a three-sided pyramid built anywhere within the four corners of the world. (Well, really, it's round.) But back then they didn't know that and as smart as they were, the Egyptians, they thought the world was flat. Those times back then when me and John were working together, they probably were some of the best times we ever had. I've always had this sort of fantasy in my head about us as brothers, wishing we could be really close, although most of the time we weren't. But I kind of always thought we might be able to do great things. Maybe not as great as people like John and Bobby Kennedy or the Wright Brothers or any other famous brothers you would hear about, but I always wished that John and I could have been a little something like that. I think this piece of art was the closest we ever got to it. John was really considered the artist of the family. He was the one who painted some in high school and was always more interested in art and music than I was. I was more the responsible type; that is, if you consider getting kicked out of high school in my senior year and working any job for pocket change to smoke weed, date girls, drink beer, play cards, and put gas in my '68 Goat as being responsible. Ya, I think most people in our family thought that I was, beings though John had quit school, not finishing the tenth grade, never had a whole lot of ambition or a steady girlfriend and didn't have a car or job back then. So although John always looked like he was in last place, the truth was I was just the next guy in front of the guy in last place. John and I always liked fooling around, we would act like the Marx Brothers or the Smothers Brothers and every time we got to smoking some weed, we turned into the Doobie Brothers, or we'd start acting like Cheech & Chong, but they weren't brothers; I think they were cousins. That was how it was in our teenage years. Those were some of the best, most carefree...

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