Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wilson Middle: Someone Loved You Very Much Once

The first time we approached the building, the only way in was down a rickety ladder, into a moat, through half a knocked out window. The second time was also through a knocked out window, but this time I was wearing boots. The amount of courage I have is largely dependent on my footwear.

We circled the building greedily. Its amazing how much you used to want to get out of this building, but once its empty, you can't get in fast enough. The basement, by the way, was absolutely terrifying. The things I am most afraid of were there in force: unsure footing, complete darkness, basements. Even going into a lit one, in daylight, takes a gathering of emotion. It's why I do laundry so reluctantly. I was weak, standing at that grate, but they pulled me through. There wasn't a choice. If Atlantis rises from its watery grave, you don't stand there nervous about stepping down off a bookshelf into the blackness. Right, you suck up and do it. Otherwise you sit outside for hours while other people get better pictures than you.

Once we made our way into the shallower hells, the dimly lit first floor with it's rows of dead lockers, I could not get up those stairs fast enough. To the windows! The day was beautiful; breezes blowing in from the broken glass, brightly painted rooms, and furniture everywhere. How could anything be scary in this light?

Doesn't it make you want to climb on everything?

Or roller skate?

People who go hunting in abandoned places are summer school archaeologists. They want to find evidence of what used to be there, a place is better if it is preserved. They marvel at every disused telephone or nurse's eye chart like it was unearthed at Pompeii. Broken chairs are delightful, torn posters delicious. Giant stuffed dogs are Mayan fucking calendars.

Question and answer cards on the floor are a bread crumb trail to happiness.

Going into one old middle school is going into every middle school. It makes you old, young, and grabby at the same time. Every flashcard you see belongs to you and your 3rd grade math class, and so there's no compunction in picking it up. In factories there is a sense of otherness, that you weren't part of this industrial world, and therefore a proper amount of chaste respect is due. You don't just go leafing through machinery, and throwing the bits everywhere. But here you are just collecting those lost parts of your own grade school days that you've somehow misplaced, but found again.

We maintained a bit of decorum though, and left the really cool things. Because to take them all would ruin the place. If they stay where they are long enough, they will freeze there, like exhibits, glued with dust and paint chips.

Rocket Racer Test Report is a fabulous name, Tina. Also I like your car a lot. I like that it has a tail.

I also hate to read because it makes me happy. Also I hate witches cooking frogs. Or frogs about to eat witches.

Where did this sign come from exactly? Was it an encouragement note, or a reminder? And why are there not enough vocabulary game boards in my life anymore?

This makes me want a floor made entirely of colorforms.

Giant stuffed bunny.

More memories from Wilson can be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Because I am a terrible person, I would have taken the I Hate to Read poster. Also, because that is clearly a picture of me.


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