The upstairs was a maze, and now that its windows had been boarded shut, it was a dark maze. As I had been here before, I actually knew what to expect. It was the details I was after.
The dialogue between the taggers continued. ”Please keep up just a little more”, one begs. ”Fuck no”, says the other one.
This was a new one. ”What are the bitches doing here :)” it says.
There were several big human figures drawn across the walls. As it was pretty shady inside, these were rather scary. When we turned in corners and saw a figure resembling a human, we startled several times.
Knowers will know why I decided to photograph this.
We managed to get back downstairs and outside. There were several cans of energy drinks and even coffee mugs. Although I never encountered anybody when coming here, this must have been a popular place to hang out, at least judging by the amount of changes in the building.
This time the door to the room housing the central heating system and the main electric board was open. Like all buildings from this era, this one was probably originally heated with oil.
This time all the garages were open and there was enough light to photograph inside. Although very simple, this piece actually reflects pretty much what Toppila is. It’s a suburb with lots of municipal rental apartments, social problems, unhappiness and apathy.
The garages were separated by light walls, which had been no match to the vandals. And as there now was enough light, I could also photograph the place called Narnia, the doorway of which I photographed the last time around.
This was Narnia. Big shelves with boards and winter sports equipment, an old working desk with doors similar to my former kitchen and cardboard boxes.
So this was my final photo from the house ever. I moved away from town, but did visit it one further time: on a cold November night with a friend. We entered the garage, used a screw to open a bottle of wine and sat by the poolside to drink it. The house was demolished in 2020.
But while I had not been here, I had researched the history of the place. In Oulu some call it the Lotto winner’s house, as the story is, that one of the town’s first lottery millionaires had built it. But that story is not true.
The building had five garages, because it was the headquarters of the first car rental company in Finland in the mid 1970’s. And when I read this, a chill went down my spine. The founder was a war veteran, who had recently passed away, but years before that I had met him. I had written an article about his singing hobby.
So I knew the person, whose long since abandoned home I had visited several times. But he sold the place already in the 90’s. After that it was owned by the CEO of an excavation company, who was the last inhabitant. He sold the place to a construction company sometime after 2010. They were supposed to build a block of flats in its place, but the project was delayed. This former owner is also dead by now. His estate is still registered in the address, although the house is no more.