The 13th Floor


There is something alluring about putting yourself in a place where you might be noticed, but staying so still that you slip past the idle glances of those passing by.

It’s grey and cool for a summer night. It’s almost stormy, lightning flickers harmlessly in the distance. The ground is hard from weeks of drought. I’m sitting by the highway. Out in the open, but no one bothers to notice me here.

Behind me is a dismal rectangular building, maybe 12 stories high. It has a parking lot that is big enough to invite the notion that people should inhabit it, or at least visit it occasionally. I’ve never seen a soul there. It’s brick for about 5 stories, then the rest is big ugly slabs of limestone. It looks like the architect ran out of stuff to stack in a big pile.

There’s a little ladder that creeps up 3 stories, so I climbed it. There was no way in so I climbed back down, found a cinder block, and knocked out a window.

Its hard to tell what it was meant to be. It is difficult for me to imagine that it had no destiny to begin with. It’s obvious someone built it. And people that create purposeless things don’t build buildings, they write blogs. There is a lot of open space. There are walls too, but no doors. Its pitch dark, but I don’t bother to try to light my way. I just walk forward. I bump into a few walls but it doesn’t slow me much. I happen upon the stairs.

They are complete. In a world of low ceilings in the DMV and canned beans, this is the stairway straight to heaven. I begin going up. There is a handrail, but I don’t bother to touch it. I’m moving very slowly, listening to this grim tower. It doesn’t have much to say.

Ive counted 11 floors. I might have been in here for half of a lifetime. My foot seeks another step but finds nothing, and I stumble, nearly falling. The 12th floor. No one is there to see it, its funny and I could almost laugh. It reminds me of a song.

The few that remained
Were never found

All in a system of down
Down, down, down

I’m just standing around now. I wander towards a window, and from the corner of my eye I cath a glint. A ladder leading to a hatch. I climb up. There’s a padlock securing the door, and my heart nearly sinks. But… It’s unlocked.

It’s pretty high. I move to the edge of the roof and look down. The wind which was gentle on the ground is now iritated. It pushes past me in it’s self centered way. I’m looking out across the little town. It is almost beautiful. A few lights twinkle below. I have to remind myself that they are just flickering streetlights, bulbs near the end of their lives. It’s still grey and almost stormy. I listen to the Grim Tower.

Still nothing. I’m bored now. Even the wind has moved along without noticing me. But in it’s silence, the Tower reveals it’s destiny to me.

I step off the ledge.

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About theonlyjoe

I am Joe. This is a collection of my ramblings, poems, stories, afflictions, victories, and the picture of my mind. Make yourselves at home. View all posts by theonlyjoe

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