School 02, December 2012
Most of the morning was wasted on yet another aborted trip to Hospital 02. The hole in the fence had been patched up, and the only other obvious access point was blocked by a suspicious array of dry branches and fluorescent light bulbs. We could easily have moved them, but it smelled like a trap, so we skedaddled.
We ended up at a place that I didn’t know existed, parked near a graveyard and an ominous “RESEARCH” building, climbed over crumbling stone walls, hiked through foggy fields and past a rusting car slowly being consumed by the forest. Part of this campus is still active, and we took our usual precautions, but nobody seemed to care, which is always a relief (and a slight disappointment).
Robin recently picked up an urban-exploring-themed novel at a thrift store and gave it to me as a gift/joke. I suppose if I had ended up liking the book, it would have been a “gift,” but it was awful – a failure both as a novel and as a source of any kind of accurate depiction of the urban exploring “community” (I’m cringing even as I type that word). According to this book, explorers (who call themselves “creepers,” hence the title) have a strict code of ethics, which prevents them from ever urinating in an abandoned building – not even in a toilet. That’s right – the place may have been abandoned for decades, fire-scarred, graffiti-befouled, trees growing through the rotting floorboards, rooms littered with bird skeletons and raccoon feces… but God Forbid you should urinate in a broken toilet. So the characters all pee into water bottles and then carry around those pee-bottles for the rest of the book, which leads to a hilarious scene later on – but I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Also, there was a bunch of huffing and puffing about how they couldn’t possibly take anything that they found on-site (except for the gold coins left in a secret vault by a pedophile gangster/real estate broker, who… oh, never mind). Now, I’m sure there are some explorers who refrain from taking anything, and God bless them for their righteousness. But as these buildings get older, and more decrepit, and closer to demolition, and after seeing the contents of other sites plowed under to make way for condominiums, those “take nothing” rules have become more… flexible. Like most of my exploring friends, I usually limit myself to a couple of particularly interesting patient files, or a ceramic plate bearing the name of the state mental health agency, or a complete set of “Bowel and Bladder Training” LPs (with corresponding filmstrips).
This was leading to a point of some kind… Oh yeah: I broke my own rules, and (ahem) “rescued” an old light. If it helps at all, I do feel slightly guilty about it.
SIXTEEN MUSICAL FAVORITES
We also found a box of still-sealed custom-pressed LPs, featuring the band and (blind) chorus of School 02. A blurb on the cover tells us that “this album of music and song… is thrilling proof of the mentally retarded’s potential.”
Download the entire album in a .zip file, or…
Download (right-click) or play (left-click) the songs individually below:
- I Got Love
- Excerpts From Carmen
- Nice ‘n’ Easy
- Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head
- Blues In The Night
- Hawaii Five-O
- Kentucky Babe
- Battle Hymn Of The Republic
- Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor
- Alexander’s Ragtime Band
- Let Me Call You Sweetheart
- The Sound Of Music
- Breezin’ Along With The Breeze
- Let There Be Peace On Earth
I also took some photos, if you’re not asleep yet.
VIEWING THE GALLERY
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