Hidden where you belong

Wandering around the city we ended up by being here. Find a quiet corner of the building, another too-hot hermetically-sealed enclosure of putty walls. Just a few minutes for rumination and listening to voices through the pipes.

Katazheniya: When was the last time you saw your father?

Morgan: Saw him? I don’t know. But I hear him all the time, so I know he’s there.

Katazheniya: I guess that’s bad enough.

and later:

Katazheniya: Why are you so broken inside?

[person]: I’m not broken I was put together wrong.

When I was little I was enchanted by stories of people living underground in abandoned subway systems. There were no subways where I grew up, mostly forests. I wondered what it would be like to live at my school. I tried to plan how I would do it so no one would find me. Once I even heard a rumor about a secret passage behind some lockers which I thought might be perfect. The thing is you want to be able to get around without being discovered. But why would you rather stay at school than at home. You might be happier in some respects, but there were drawbacks like the food, and the smell. They would never look for you at a school though. It would be a good place to stay hidden, if you planned it out properly.

If you are lost in the city, it is very easy to gain access to a building, provided you do not look suspicious. This does not mean you need to be wearing a suit or skirt. All buildings employ cafeteria workers, janitors, and bike couriers, among many others: you would be surprised at the wide variety of clothing styles you could get away with while still “fitting in.” No, looking suspicious is more a function of not acting like you belong. Simply stand outside the revolving doors until someone else walks in. Follow after them and walk through the lobby towards the elevators. Do not be frightened if the security guard asks you to sign in. The security guard is not literally concerned with the security of the building; typically his or her main care is the procurement of a paycheck. This works out well, as you yourself pose no actual threat to the security of the building. You are just looking for a place to hide. As you enter a building, look at the directory and pick out an office and a floor number you can use if asked to sign in. Then take the elevator up to that floor. Exit the elevator and head directly for the stairs. Walk up another few flights. Get used to being on the stairs, it is often the quietest part of the building. You can hear someone coming towards you from very far away. After exiting the stairs, you will find yourself in a hallway.* One option now is to find the janitor’s closet or the restroom. Usually it is easier to gain access to the crawlspaces in the ceiling through these rooms than it is from say an office or a conference room. If you pass people in the hallway, make eye contact with them. They will shy away, and be less likely to see you or remember that you were ever there.

*Try not to spend a lot of time in hallways. They tend to be carpeted and lit by fluorescent lights and will remind you of times from your past that you would rather forget.

Morgan: Do you really think it’s better here than it would be at home?

Katazheniya: I don’t know.

What if you were trapped somewhere and no one ever found you. We heard noises in the hallway and began to hide, silently replacing the ceiling tile just as the door opened.