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Taunton State Hospital (Taunton, MA) the lengths you'll go to for love

The Lengths You'll Go to for Love | Abandoned America
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Everything was going fine. Then Ryan said something I couldn't quite hear,
something about seeing someone right outside the window next to him
and then we were running as fast as we could
down through the remains of the asylum's power plant.
Wheelchairs and steam valves and dials and levers all blurred sickeningly by
and I heard him hiss as much to himself as to me,
'we were being too loud, he had to have heard us' over and over.
And so we descended ever deeper, through twisting shafts and tunnels
as my failing flashlight flickered worthlessly, then went out
and I was trying to navigate over, under, and around a maze of pipes in complete darkness.
At last we crawled through a tiny tunnel barely half of my height,
thick with cobwebs that were presumably as old as I am, older maybe,
and it seemed as though it would never end. My hands and clothes were
filthy from the muddy floor, I was out of breath, I was completely lost.
We reached an oasis of light, a shaft that led to some grate cover high above
and Ryan stopped us. 'Be quiet,' he said, listening intently.
I looked back and could barely make out two faces in the darkness.
We had lost three people. One of the kids whose name I couldn't recall
started unzipping his bag and rummaging noisily through it.
'They could be right up above us! Be quiet!" Ryan whispered, but
the kid kept shuffling things. Maybe he didn't care, maybe he didn't realize
that it would not be good if we were found, not at all.
There would be no plausable deniability, no excuses, no forgiveness.
The kid noisily opened something else and Ryan said, softly but with
barely restrained rage in his voice, 'what are you doing back there?
Making f***ing sandwiches? Shut up!' and at last the kid was quiet.
My back was starting to ache, my legs were falling asleep,
my lungs were burning and even though I knew they'd probably never
find us here, there was always the chance, even moreso that they'd simply
wait and wait until we tried to leave and snare us then. They could wait forever.
But for the moment,
we were hidden, deep inside the bowels of a strange, collapsing creature
and I thought how hard it is to explain to someone who doesn't know firsthand
the ridiculous lengths that you'll go to for love.

Image of Taunton State Hospital and text by Matthew Christopher

If you enjoy my writing, check out my books "Abandoned America: Dismantling the Dream" (which features a chapter on Taunton) and "Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences".

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