Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I had no phone, I had no computer, I had no TV, and yet for the second time, it was necessary for someone from the cable company to come out and restore my service. I explained to the employee that the first time, her co-worker had to crawl into a closet in order to make the repairs. I remembered how difficult that had been, how dark and deep the closet, and how strange it seemed that there was a metal box in there full of wires. Without saying a word, she headed straight for the closet and crawled in. I never saw her again. When I turned around, I saw a cell phone on a small folding table, picked it up, and listened. It was someone from the cable company saying the repairs had been made, and that I should notify them of any trouble. Before I could tell him about the missing employee, the connection went dead. I looked at the closet, but now the door was closed. I decided to leave. On my way out I saw a dark-haired woman on a cot, in some kind of distress. I had no idea who she was. I laid my hand on her face, she looked up at me briefly without recognition, and I continued on. I came to a very large stainless steel door that was closing like an elevator door, sliding from right to left. Beyond it was a large mostly empty warehouse with two or three men moving about, wearing hard hats, shouting, their voices echoing. I pushed the door back a couple of feet but wasn't strong enough to hold it open, so I let it go. I went into an adjacent warehouse instead, down some wide concrete steps of very irregular depth, only twice touching them with my feet. I knew I was being watched, and that I was considered odd for not using the steps in the usual way, but I was too pleased to care. High above, on what I thought must be the eastern wall, light shone in through a dirty window.

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