Written by Arkadii Archie Maznev
There are many different types of houses and buildings. Some look pathetic and disgusting, others small and graceful. Some were built on the blood of ancestors, some were built by order, and some were built with the owner’s own hands. But not only are there different houses, but also different doors. Some doors are made of wood or metal, others are made of glass, but it is not important what these houses look like or what their doors are made of. What is important is what is inside and behind them. This story will focus on one of the houses which deviates from what we have come to expect from the same gray old buildings of our daily routines. Here a person can become lost in a place that cannot be described in simple words, but one just has to witness it. A museum and circus, a haven for acrobats and LGBTQ + communities, a haunted house, and a place where time stands still: The Gregangelo Museum. A place where every time I wanted to escape from the hustle and bustle and just contemplate, I could go and find myself along with something new every day. The place where I found another family.
This spot can not be called a museum or a circus, even if the official names “Gregangelo Museum” and “Velocity Circus” suggest such thoughts, but rather a synthesis of man and home. Everything that was built inside was not built by Greg himself, the owner of the house museum, an artist, and just a wonderful person. He took local artists in San Francisco to continuously build and rejuvenated the house. Every detail from a red circular piece of marble mosaic on the kitchen floor to every magic glass ball lying on the pillow near the entrance to the living room was created or found manually.
My unexpected appearance in this house happened, like every impressive event, by way of favorable circumstances. As an aspiring actor, I received an invitation from my actress friend to accompany her in an extravagant performance for an equally extravagant enterprise. A few days later I went to the official casting, although it was more like an interview. As I watched the incessant flow of people and cars on my way over, I thought about what I should say to the owner of the house- museum in order to impress him. As Twin Peaks towered over the road which lay along a winding road with one of the most beautiful views of San Francisco, I began to notice that I was in a more or less residential area and the likelihood that there was a museum nearby seemed to me almost zero, but still pushing my foot against the road, I suddenly saw a house that seemed to me completely tasteless.
A suspicion began to arise in me that this building is, for some unknown reason called a museum, that very house. I decided to reflect and rolled a cigarette. As I exhaled the smoke from my first puff, a muscular woman dressed in a Ghostbusters costume came out of the house. Seeing her, I realized that I was in the right place. I began to examine the house with a bored look. It was a more or less remarkable house, painted pink with two windows on either side of the front portico, which in turn was covered in what looked like tent fabric. The house and the courtyard were covered with the usual hip roof, painted in dark pink, yellow and green. On both the roofs of the portico and the house were installed two shiny wind vanes in the form of an astronomical Ore, and a killer-whale, which had its West and East indicators switched places. Throwing a cigarette on the floor and stomping it with the sole of my sneakers, I rushed inside to a meeting with the house-museum and its owner. Approaching
the granite steps and the path leading to the house, I paused as I noticed that the whole house was fenced in by a wall of completely different objects, plants and sculptures.
On the left side of the house there were amazing plants and flowers hitherto unknown to me. Next to the walkway was a white metal table, the top of which was covered with mosaics. To the left of the table stood a huge copper Buddha head, which was actually a fountain. A huge clock hung over Buddha’s head. It was a grandfather clock, but, as if under the influence of magical power, the frame and the entire lower part of this clock were twisted into a semi-spiral. On the right side, the view was blocked by large green bushes, the portico itself and Halloween attributes. I don’t know why, but the sculptures made a strange but strong impression on me. I quickened my pace and approached the portico entrance, which was completely covered with mosaic that resembled ocean waves.
Glancing around the expansive front door, which looked like a huge piece of black linen with hand-carved patterns and a very strange handle, I swallowed and my heart started beating faster. Not finding the doorbell, I gently touched the mysterious little handle and opened the door. My mouth opened as quickly, wide and naturally as the door I had just pushed inward. A small hallway appeared in front of me in which, from the position in which I was, I could immediately see the familiar figure of a box with a fortune teller gin, or at least it looked like it. After taking a couple of steps and looking at the opening passage on the left side, I saw a vast room with so many details that my eyes began to hurt. Each and every spot in this adjoining room was full of patterns and emblems. Opposite me, on the wall, there was a painting reminiscent of modern Bosch with a huge amount of realistic and surrealistic details, which stretched out almost throughout the entire territory of that wall and which actually was a simple storyboard for one of Greg’s theatre performances. From what I saw, I almost immediately felt dizzy, or at least it seemed to me so.
Stepping into the room with the painting, I saw another passage to the right, but this room was already five, if not ten times larger than the previous one. The number of details was striking, as if I myself were inside the picture of Bosch, and the number of things in this room quantitatively exceeds the limit of my vocabulary, which, take my word for it, is quite extensive.
But the maze continued on….