Parking Garage Stairwell Access

Eric Carlson, circa 1998

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Prior to arriving here I had several interesting experiences.

The first leg of the journey was the entrance into the McEnery Convention Center underground parking garage. There I was faced with a surly young ticket taker who snarled at me as she accepted my five dollars and reluctantly allowed me to enter her garage. I queried her about the library. She did not deign to respond. A she devil at the gate.

The garage was dark and difficult to maneuver in. Microscopic particles of Benzene fouled the air. Columns and curbs of ashen cement revealed themselves out of absinthe-green shadows. I parked.

Large, school-bus-yellow signs pointed me to a "Lobby Elevator." Entering the elevator, I pushed the "Lobby" button. Nothing happened. I pushed again. Nothing happened again. The elevator wasn't going anywhere. Fortunately the "Open Door" button was working and I exited the broken elevator to seek another passage.

After several minutes of walking and searching, footsteps echoing hollowly in the seemingly abandoned garage, I discovered a sign that read "Stair to Lobby."

I opened the door to the stairwell. Concrete steps led upward. I entered a square room with doors on two sides. This is the room depicted in the photograph above. The ceiling and walls were ominous with pipes, air-conditioning ducts, and electrical components, many resembling instruments of torture.

Suddenly, a woman opened the door from the lobby and was clearly startled by the presence of an explorer-photographer snapping pictures in a dark stairwell. It was an awkward moment for both of us. The woman clattered away into the caverns below. I proceeded on.

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