I left class today in the late afternoon as the sun was on its way towards the horizon and sending out bright angled light. As I drove across campus towards the exit, the sun rays shooting out from behind a small patch of clouds caught my eye and I thought I would see if I could get any good shots of it. It was at that moment that I noticed the object to the right of the sun: the water tower.
I have been working on this campus for 9 consecutive and 10 total years. I have driven past this water tower countless times, yet I had never noticed it before. I chuckled a little at this thought, thinking of my first year in Istanbul and how I used to depend on a huge model of a red Nescafé mug sitting on a water tower across the street from my school/lodging as a way to find my way home.
You’d think I would be a bit more attuned to seeing water towers since that experience. Apparently I’m not, but when I do notice them, I find that they’re oddly fascinating.
Of course there was the obligatory graffiti which is another thing I love to look at and ponder. What makes a person climb up a ladder so high just to spray paint some words on the side of the tower? Words that are barely perceptible or legible, except perhaps others who are privy to graffiti jargon and technique? And how likely is it that these fellow graffiti artists will see the work on a water tower on a community college? How long had it been there? Has anyone risked jail time, injury or even death only to realize after climbing down that the words were too small to see? Or that the equivalent of a glaring typo had been made?
And what does Jove mean? Is it Jove as in “By Jove”? How did an aging tweed-clad Englishman manage to get up that tower? Especially with a pipe! Or does it mean something else? Maybe it’s slang for some kind of drug? The Urban Dictionary says “jove” is a Klingon word. Was it a Trekkie who painted it?
Will I ever get to know?