Gerald’s Ramp


“Ruin value (German: Ruinenwert) is the concept that a building be designed such that if it eventually collapsed, it would leave behind aesthetically pleasing ruins that would last far longer without any maintenance at all.” -Pretty Much Whoever, Wikipedia.org/wiki/ruin_value

And so Gerald declared “my parking ramp must have striking, majestic pillars at every possible location, and they must be manufactured of, and treated with… stuff that doesn’t… y’know… go away,”

And Gerald leveraged the wealth of his unknown Grandfather and made this possible.

And regardless of what Gerald did afterward, the Earth kept racing around and around the Sun, cooking and freezing the parking ramp hundreds of times, until the very last consequences of Geralds reproductive prowess were either wiped, or diluted to obscurity. The ramp stood even as the cars and trucks that used it fell away to the Rise of Sentient and Enthusiastic Horses, and ultimately to a point when the thought of parking anything merely caused a fireside chuckle on a beach, with tanned Mega-Apes doing shitloads of complex Math, but not being dicks about it.

And true to Gerald’s lasting vision, the basic structure of the ramp decayed only beautifully, as if it were meant to become the face of an ancient Queen. What Gerald hadn’t supposed was that incredibly advanced peoples would, one thousand years afterward, agree with and respect his goals in the ramp. But these people DID see, and many generations sat near the ramp or stood by it or drove things on it or ate sandwiches on top of it.

Only the corners were changed by time. The elements made them round and glossy, and they came to split the sunlight apart in themselves uniquely, like trees that fought their own bark with crayons and markers. Gerald had nothing to do with this, but had he not been so focused and persistent in building his ramp, this would not have happened.

And beyond even the initial handful of millennia, there stood the pillars.

Like the spawn of drinkers, who floated in the drink for so long and spawned more of themselves in the drink who did the same and on and on… one day even those severely advanced descendants of Gerald and his kind… found themselves sitting at the bottom of a pool, drinking the rest of it away with shrinking social circles and an uneasy sense of a Great Doom.

And one day the last real human laughed, looked at the pillars, and went back to the rocks and the dirt, taking whatever else of humankind away to be dust and wind…but the value of that Ruin was abolute, and it simply went on battling with the changing face of our Sun, until at long last the Sun heaved, and made the yawn of a star…which simply and suddenly consumed first Mercury, then Venus.

But after such long hard practice, and having been born with such conviction, the pillars of Gerald’s Ramp simply leapt into the chaos of the fat red giant Sun when it came finally to swallow the oceans and burn away the meat of the Earth, leaving the creamated skeleton of our world to whip around its crimson waist and decay. Gerald’s ramp knew the Sun and had always been handling it, it had become a gleaming alloy flower with more might than a dying Sun.

When the Sun finally tore off its cloak, and compressed all that it had gathered into one little shining Earth-sized summary of all that has been, Gerald’s Ramp parked itself right there on the face of the dwarf, and felt downright massive.




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