Stairways to Somewhere Else

Something disturbs me about an extra long flight of stairs, especially going down. Why would that be? Maybe because I’m a klutz and fear falling. Certainly the former is true! On a recent trip to New York, I snapped a couple of extra-creepy flights.

Manhattan subway escalator.

Looking down a Manhattan subway escalator.

Perhaps long staircases disturb me because I fear my subconscious. The mystical psychologist Carl Jung talked about stairs that descend to the subconscious, as I was fascinated to recently learn. Well, okay, re-learn, because I was surprised to read it in (my own damn) novel, Was It A Rat I Sawwhich I wrote a couple decades ago. But I digress. Anyway, I don’t fear my subconscious, I’m fascinated by all the things it seems to know that I don’t – and there’s no question that I get my best ideas from it!

Entrance to Le Poisson Rouge, a club in Greenwich Village.

Entrance to Le Poisson Rouge, a club in Greenwich Village.

I’m joking around. I know why some staircases bother me. It’s the sense that their steps are capable of taking me somewhere else, an unintended journey to an unexpected destination. Some building entrances feel that way to me, too. I’m finally exposing their truth in my fantasy series, FRAMES, where nothing in the universe is as it seems. The red staircase above will be a location – or maybe a character – in the second book in the FRAMES series, which I have just started writing.

New York doesn’t have a lock on eerie stairs. Here’s one that hails from Echo Park in Los Angeles:


P.S. I’ve finally finished the first FRAMES novel, Nica of Los Angeles. Watch for posts about that soon.

(This post responds to the WP Weekly Photo Challenge, Extra Extra.)

Powers of Observation, or Lack Thereof

With people and behavior, I can be an astute and detailed observer; but when it comes to my surroundings, I can be shockingly oblivious. More than once I have looked around in a familiar place and thought something along the lines of Gee, how long has that light fixture been there? “Familiar place” includes the home where I have lived for 10 years.

You probably think I’m joking.

This morning it thus came as no surprise when I walked out of the train station I always use, and discovered an interesting pattern in the juxtaposition of walkways and a bench. I’m reasonably certain they did not install all of this during the last week. Although come to think of it there was some construction there recently. So maybe for once I didn’t traverse the area 100 times without noticing this:


(The WP Weekly Photo Challenge asked to see layers.)