A snippet of a “darling” that was recently cut from my writing. Here Sam tastes the notion that he is like the church. There are rooms, caverns, characters in himself that still lie undiscovered behind dirty yellowed windows. Like the church, he has an outer reality that only sometimes reflects his inner reality.
They discovered the passageways on a snowy evening when they were ten-years-old. While the choir was practicing the Sunday hymns up in the chapel the two boys were hiding-out down in the boiler room, reading from their stash of comic books.
“How come we’ve never opened that door before?” Asked Pete. He was pointing at a heavy iron door that hung from large iron casters and when unlatched, could slide from side to side.
Sam looked up from his daydreams. “I’ve never noticed that door before. You can’t see it with all that junk stacked up against it.”
“Let’s check it out!” Urged Pete, excitedly.
“I’m not opening that door.” Replied Sam, with a shudder. “That’s probably the stairway down to hell. If you wanna open doors, let’s try getting into the bell tower.”
“You imagine crazy things. Come on. Its’ probably nothing, you big chicken.”
After some coaxing and double-dog-daring, they each managed to manipulate the other into opening the door’s heavy metal bars that slid up and down by a lever and gear mechanism. With a great rumble and groan from its ancient rusted-iron rollers, the door slid one foot to the side. The boys slipped through the small opening, to find a room covered in coal dust. A bit of light streamed in from a small window-well high on one wall. Pete turned the old knob on the wall, and was surprised to find that the single light bulb , hanging by a wire from the ceiling still worked. It was covered with coal dust and cast ominous shadows into the corners. In one corner lay the remnants of a great iron furnace and next to it, a pile of coal. Along the opposite wall was an old wooden workbench, scattered with smutted and rusted tools.
Sam made his way across the room to climb a ladder that had been left against the wall just below the window. He climbed carefully up the filthy rungs and from the top of the ladder he peered out between the old paint cans and rags and through the remnants of spider’s webs, onto the parking lot. A street light shown dimly through the falling snow. In that moment Sam realized that he had often passed by, outside this very window and seen the paint cans and rags in the window-well, but never questioned what was in the room beyond. He had never considered a connection between the inner and outer worlds of this dirty, yellowed window. He had never questioned before that there might be a room in this great building, that he did not know about.
“Can you believe that we’ve never been in here before?”
“What’s out there? Is it the parking lot?” Asked Pete.
“Yeah… It’s kinda weird that this room is so obvious and I could have looked in from the parking lot any time. But I never did. It never even crossed my mind.”
“Yeah… Kinda creepy,” teased Pete, sarcastically. “Wonder what else we haven’t seen.”