RANKIN AVE GARAGE — Years ago, a city worker in a white truck chased me off the top parking deck. He gave no explanation except that citizens are forbidden from taken photographs from public buildings. Here on the backside of the city's most picturesque structures, I can see why.
But the fall brings fog in the mornings. I should probably write the city a letter and ask for permission to photograph the fog from the top of a parking garage. Instead, I check over my shoulder and quicken my pace. As Ayn Rand wrote, the question is not who's going to let you, it's who's going to stop you?
Bums, that's who. I can see the headline now: “Local Photographer Found Dead in Parking Garage.” And the sidebar: “Alan's Pawn Only Gives Bum Five Bucks for Stolen Camera.”
Like most places where you can find good photos, parking garages make people wary of each other. Coming out of a stairwell, I startle a woman who had just parked her car. We both jump and then pretend that we didn't think the worst of each other.
I reach the top deck with my pulse beating in my throat, and here I shoot my photos. Later I'm standing in my bathroom unreeling the negatives, with photo chemicals dripping into my eyes, eager to see the images — not because of the fog, but because they were forbidden.