Tuesday, November 01, 2005

An Eerie Night on Lookout Mountain

Before my interview at Channel 8 on Thursday, I was told to bring a CD full of pictures from the past Festival. My life has been "on the run" as of late, and tonight was not any different. I left work, ran an errand or two and then stopped by the apartment. I made an attempt to relax, and then I began to notice the golden rays of sun playing with the leaves in the trees. I watched, in my child-like fascination, before I returned to the Phoenix and retrieved my Super 8 cam.

I had been shooting the last of this year's butterflies, continuing a project I began in Victoria, BC. I would shoot motion pictures of mischievous butterflies during my breaks at work in Claremore, so my camera was always nearby. Since my recent decision concerning Solid, I have enjoyed these small moments of shooting film.

I saw the golden sunlight, dancing across the bricks of the building opposite of mine...the corner was illuminated so well, that I could not help but notice. I used the automatic exposure setting, removed the lens cap and focused. I framed the shot with a tree forming a definite border on the left; the remaining shot was golden brick, brilliant like an idea bursting forth.

I know that my neighbors must have thought I was crazy or weird, but then again, this is Oklahoma! No one here has an imagination, because and imagination can not be bought.

I continued to shoot, capturing the different playgrounds of light and grey. One example was the tree tops I shot, whereas the very tip would be shining with natural yellow gold, and just below, the leaves would be drab, cast in gray.

I finished a cartridge of film, and then I went inside. I surveyed several pictures from last year's Fest, burning a few choice photos to CD. My next task was to drive to Lookout Mountain, home of KTUL Channel 8, and somewhere I have never been before.

I received directions earlier in the day, and I asked about the after hours situation, which I was told would be fine. I was informed that there is a gate. Okay.

I met Fae for lunch, and then drove toward I44 straight down Yale from Borders. I drove West on I44 until 33rd West Avenue, exiting and turning right...traveling North to 41st Street, turning right and driving to 29th...turn left. This street would eventually become Lookout Mountain Road, with its patchwork asphalt meandering back and forth like a runaway water hose.

I reached the top and I found the gate; no attendant...only a keypad and an intercom. I press the intercom button, and wait for ten minutes; nothing. I call. Nothing. I press it again, only this time a woman's voice ask me if I need assistance. I reply that I hold a very special CD full of beautiful pictures, and that I must deliver it...she says that I can come in , and someone would meet me out front...the gates magically open.

An L-shaped building is directly ahead, and that seems to be the most logical place, since the front door is right there! I pull in and I stand in the cold clutching my CD. Ten minutes later...nothing! I see a car leave from behind the building, returning a few minutes later, driving around the back. So I begin to walk.

Behind the building was as creepy as the front, despite the increased illumination. I see a receiving door, with another keypad and intercom. I walk up the stairs and peer inside the window; no one! I see there is only an intercom and a door buzzer. I try both...twice! No answer.

I walk back down the stairs, toward the East end of the building. As I round the corner, I see something that intrigues me, despite the cold: a breathtaking view of the City. I walk past the building, and stop at the edge to admire the scene.

I then return to my attempt at entering the building. At the end of the structure, I found a wooden deck. I walk up the stairs to find yet another door with an intercom! A camera is pointed in my direction. I press the button. After twenty seconds, a garbled voice tells me to they are "buzzing me in", and I try the door, which actually opens.

Now, you think all would be well, right? I step inside, where I see production suites at my right, equipment to my left and cubicles up people! I move forward and say "hello"...nothing. I step a little further, finally noticing a motion to my left; a woman walks by and smiles. It is then I hear a male voice approaching me. A young man in a shirt, tie and slacks asked a very stone-like "can I help you", as I explain the CD. He takes the prize and declares his intentions to deliver it...then he walks away! I am left alone, again. I turn and walk back toward the door.

As I prepare to leave, I attempt to open the door. It does not move. I am trying to activate the latch, but I can't budge the door. At this point, I am ready to leave, but I can't! Someone in the distance behind me yells, "press the red exit button". I look to my right, and there is the red exit button. It is pressed rather quickly, and I am finally free...of Lookout Mountain.


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