It’s raining and snowing heavily. You need to go to the bank. You park your car in an underground parking lot. A man in uniform demands your key. You hand it over to him. You follow the exit signs and climb up the stairs. There are many doors, you choose one. You exit. Bewildered, you look around you. You see many people, all dressed in business clothes, walking about urgently. You see stores. There are no windows. The people, lighted in the artificial light, seem to be acting in a commercial, or a science fiction movie. There is an artificial air surrounding you. You try to understand where you are. You feel disoriented. You try to stop a tall white-haired man wearing a light colored rain coat, and ask: “Excuse me, do you know where king street is?” “No”, he answers, hardly noticing you, and hurries off.
The long corridors, the shops, the artificial light, the escalators, the hurrying people; you want to get out to the snow and breathe. A woman stops: “Do you need help?” she asks. “Yes”, you reply, “Could you please tell me where king street is?” She hesitates, trying to find her way around. “How do we get out from here?” you ask again. “You want to get out?” she asks with disbelief, “No, you don’t need to go out, you can go underground”, she repeats, still hesitant about the way you should take. The seconds seem like eternity.
All around you People are rushing, climbing up and down the escalators, the elevators, bathing in the artificial light. The woman procrastinates. Eventually she agrees to tell you the way up, to the street level. “The security guard will show you how to get to king street underground”, she advises.
You climb the escalator and see the heavy snow falling on the ground through the windows. You dash to the door and get out, breathing the cold air. You realize there is a parallel universe underneath your feet. An invisible city. The underground.