There was a stillness in the evening air, and it began getting dark quickly. “ We don’t know how long we’re going to be, you may be waiting all night on your own Mary,” getting out of the car in a hurry. “ I began jumping about, feeling balmy and pushing Rick in a girlish manner before leaping towards the back doors of the medical school. “Hey wait up, not so fast we can’t get in this way, we have to get in where no one can see us enter the building.” I loved excitment and adventure I seemed to need that stimulation all the time or I sunk into the pits of depression and would just sit and do nothing until some sort of challenge came along to motivate me where I could feel a rush of adrenalin. We began crawling up the thin metal fire escape, it appeared to look frail, almost like a make shift ladder on the edge of the building. The further up we climbed the wind seeemed to get up, the air was crisp and the view of the city lights in the harbour was somehow nostalgic yet breathtakingly magical, I hung by my hands and let my feet drop off the rung for a second as my head looked up directly into the pitch black sky there was no moon. As I returned my feet back on to the ladder my head dropped, looking down into a super bowl of moving wonder light way below me in the misty wintery Auckland evening. I paused to breath it all in. I felt good, as if I would never die and I would always be young and beautiful. I was fluid and strong. I was always aware of my dark beauty. I had an unusual type of conceit, and as I kept climbing my hands caught my eye, and for a split second I noticed how beautifully perfect they appeared as I grasped the ladder rungs effortlessly. I was rearing to go and felt so alive, as if I could never die, “how could I ever become a lifeless being, it seemed unimaginable to even have an ache?” I felt indestructible as young people do, and I thought I was the only one in the whole world who felt this way, and that by some miraculous miracle I’d be the one to be spared from old age and sickness. I was up that ladder in the darkness, high up on the side of a building, and I felt the anticipation of what was to take place that evening. I was fiercely pumped. I felt adamant that I would never grow old. Rick had so many keys, he opened a tiny door, we had to almost roll ourselves into a ball to get through. the door slammed shut and we were in pitch blackness, all was quiet, Rick had two torches he handed me one. “Okay stick behind me I know this whole place like the back of my hand” as he turned and winked at me, and I returned it, grinning cheekily back at him. We clambered through tubes of different levels and I didn’t know where we were going, to the fifth floor. It felt as it we would never get there. “wouldn’t it just be easier to go the normal way Rick?” “what – and be seen?” Nevertheless it was exciting. We seemed to tunnel up and down sideways and back, we passed steam and hissing sounds it became unbearably hot, trawling our way through the bowels of the med school. We finally made it to the fourth floor. “Are you okay” rick asked, “yep, where are the bods?” I insisted. He opened the door and turned to me again asking me if I was sure I wanted to enter the room of death. I assured him I was keen. In we went. it was dark with only the lights of the city to be able to see the bodies in the room which was huge. I was immediately transfixed, I had always somehow been fascinated with death, the mere fact we are here one minute and gone the next, and that one could so easily become a handful of dust. I began to question the reasons I was here and for what purpose, but I couldn’t find the answers. For years I searched outside myself to find them, never knowing they lay within. I stared down at the bodies laying on the table, and they were somehow twisted, as if the arms and legs had been put on the wrong way, they reminded me of my doll I had as a child, where the limbs can be twisted around facing the other way. They seemed to be in pieces. Firstly I had noticed how black they appeared, as if burned on a barbecue. One body looked as if their death had been a painful one and I instantly felt it somehow, perhaps this was the first sign of empathy setting into my being. I had thought of that night for a long time afterwards. There was a flash of lightning, yet no thunder followed, it was very coincidental that the night seemed to enhance the dawn of the dead feeling. After I had enough we decided we might as well go to the top of the building, more clambering through hissing tunnels of heat and steam. When we arrived at the top, the city lights of Auckland city were blurred with misty rain, and more lighting. We both sat on the wet ground just looking and talking pleasantly about sweet nothings, and getting wet, but we didn’t care it was utopia sitting on top of the world looking down at the misty city with not a care in the world as Rick embraced me pulling me into him….
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”