I Got Lost In My Own Apt.

19 08 2009

P.66 8/19/09

It’s true. Somehow I managed to get lost in my own apartment building. It was pretty scary, actually. 

Last night I had some time to waste while I was doing my laundry. I have noticed a few fire escape stairwells in my hall. A sign on these doors say that they lead down to the street level. Being on the 6th floor, it’s kind of annoying to wait for the elevator every time I want to go somewhere, and I was looking to see if there was a staircase I could take down to the lobby of my apt. building. So last night I decided to take an adventure and go explore these mysterious stairwells. 

There are two stairwells on my floor. Both stairwells are really sketchy and cold. They are metal and concrete and rather dirty. They do not reflect the quite nice feeling of the rest of the building. While exploring the stairwells, I kept expecting to see roaches, rats, or some other nasty sewer-type creature.

So I started out with one close to the elevators. This stairwell is odd because it has two entrances from my hall which kind of loops around the stairwell. Once I figured that out, I went down a flight which simply led me…down to the 5th floor. No surprises there. I went down a few more flights and when I got to maybe the  3rd floor, the normal location of the door to that hall wasn’t there. Instead was a door in a different location which was eerily also cracked open a little. I opened the door some more to reveal a weird low ceilinged hallway of concrete blocks. It was dark and creepy and I was expecting to see rats and cockroaches, so I quickly closed the door. There wasn’t anything else in that stairwell, so I climbed back up to my floor.

I wandered down the hall towards my apt. and came to another mysterious exit stairwell. I was feeling rather adventurous and continued my exploring. I went down a flight to the expected 5th floor. But what I found on the 5th floor was unexpected. The only exit door was on the other side of the stairs. I opened this door to reveal a sketchy open space. It had a high ceiling and was made of damp concrete blocks. A light was flickering and something was dripping from the ceiling. You’d think I was in some weird dream or something, but it was all real. I went down another flight and on the 4th floor the only door led to the back to a parking garage. The same went for the 3rd floor; an exit to the parking garage. Somewhere around the 3rd floor was a gated door in the stairwell. A reasonable person would take this to mean to not go further, but curiosity got the better of me and I was pleased to find the door opened. On the other side I noticed I could not open the door and was thus trapped on the other side.

I started freaking out. I did have my cell phone and keys on me, but was afraid my cell phone wouldn’t get signal in the stairwell. (I never actually checked. I didn’t want to know.) So I was trapped in a creepy stairwell. My roommates would never think to look for me there. I had laundry to finish. I was not only trapped, but lost. I was going to end up like some scary skeleton in this dungeon. But I pulled myself together and didn’t let my imagination get the best of me. Since I couldn’t go back, I looked around this new part of the staircase. There was another two levels which exited to a parking garage and nothing at the bottom. I had no choice but to go out to the parking garage… 

I had only been in the parking garage once before and knew the fact that it was like a concrete maze. I started walking up a hill and found myself staring at the car entrance. Since I was not in a car, it looked impossible to make the enormous metal garage door open. I walked up another hill and found the car exit. At this point a car was driving into the entrance I was just at, but I didn’t have enough time to run back down. Plus, I kind of didn’t want to look like a weirdo who was walking out of a car place. And then I noticed civilization! A man was walking nearby in the garage. I went to see where he had come from. He had just walked away from some doors so I eagerly walked over to see what the doors led to. I flew open the doors, only to disappointingly discover that it was the trash chute room! So I quickly turned around to follow the man, but I lost him. It was then that I noticed a sign that read, “Restaurant Parking.” I knew that there was a restaurant on the ground floor of my building, so I was making progress. I wandered around the garage a bit more until I found a door with a sign that read, “North Lobby.” Well, I live on the South end of my building, but I knew where the North lobby was and figured I could find my way back from there. When I opened the door to the supposed North Lobby, it looked eerily familiar. Like I had just been plopped into some weird coincidence on an episode of The Twilight Zone. Had I been here before? It turned out it was really the South Lobby and I was back home, thankfully!

I made it back to my room and told my roommate what had just happened. She stared at me, thinking I was crazy. (I guess so.) She asked me what I learned from this experience. I came to two conclusions: 1. If I have to go exploring, bring a buddy. And 2. Don’t go exploring.

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