Sunday, February 03, 2008

Underground Parking

He returns to the parking lot like a ghost breaking into a mausoleum, the cars laid out like graves.

It is 6 am outside, the beginning of dawn, but in here it is, as always, twilight - the light of a bleached and sterile world, where the cars wear their shells of neon and naked tubes hang from the ceiling, white as the bones of some long extinct monster.

It seems to him now that the garage is a museum of emptiness, an eternity of waiting in which his footsteps sound as hollow as time. This is not a haunted place, rather it a space sucked dry of all possibility of spirit, a blankness so preternatural that he can feel it erasing him even as he walks to his car, can feel himself shrinking, his presence an irrelevance in the maw of the garage.

He reaches his car, gets in. The slam of the door revives him, restores to him a sense of self. He turns the key in the ignition and the stereo comes on. R.E.M. Carefully, as though afraid that the void may still claim him, he backs out of his slot, then winds his way up the two levels to the road, a soul escaping purgatory, gathering momentum as he reaches the surface and sees the faint but unmistakable light of day framed in his windshield.

1 comment:

km said...

Did you or did you not have correct change to pay the parking-lot guy?