Vacant New Jersey

Photostream » December 2017 » Middletown Psychiatric Center

Diamond Eyes

A pliable chainlink mesh flexes beneath the weight of my body as I lay on my stomach while staring four stories directly down into the darkened pit of a basement within a shuttered building at the former Middletown Psychiatric Center in Middletown, New York. Despite the malleable give to the mesh, I decided that the material was still plenty strong enough to hold my weight as chunks of lead paint and rust follicles rained down, disturbed from their weathered roost as I scouched my body closer toward the middle of the stairwell. Certainly if the meshing were to fail at this point I'd have negated its very purpose for existing as the fall would certainly send me into an endless sleep. Silently, I counted within my mind "one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi" before I finally heard the free-falling debris make contact with the cement slab basement floor below. That's quite a decent fall I thought to myself, as I lay with my hands and feet spread equally apart like some sort of demented asylum snow-angle creature. I wanted to feel as if I was floating high above the hospital stairwell. And with some adjustment of my face, levitation indeed I achieved, or so at least my mind presumed, as I lay with my face down and eyes wide open gazing directly between gaps within the anti-suicide meshing, taking in a completely unobscured view of the fall below. It was a wicked feeling of falling yet floating, gained from the loss of mental awareness and peripheral vision. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite fit my camera lens between the gaps in the fence meshing as easily I could my eyes to grab a picture from this perspective. Thus I had to resort to grabbing the shot as pictured opposite, from the perspective of looking up from the basement toward the roof, way above. In more recent months this building was completely stripped in preparedness to be transformed into a college dorm or some stupid educational institutional shit like that. I can only ponder if some bored college kids might however find my same perspective cranny, high above the suicide stairwell; assuming it is preserved in such a fashion.