by Ethan Cohen
The office is located within a century-old storage building on the Upper West Side. You enter the facility, sign in, ride the elevator to the seventh floor, and use the miniature key to open the lock on one of the two boulder-doors. Inside a room that can only be described as a cell, a second miniature key waits on the desk. This key opens the second boulder-door’s lock, and both doors are pushed wide open to mitigate the cell’s stuffiness.
I remember our Publisher affectionately patted the bare cement thick wall, lament-admiring, “I adore anything from a hundred years ago. That was when buildings were built to last and endure.”
Before Frank Lloyd Wright, I suppose even flimsy buildings had the illusion of endurance via their seemingly insurmountable wall-supports. But this building is certainly a symmetrical rock, with little light peaking through the gray hallway, as it merely pokes through the for-some-reason shaded and bolted window. Occasionally workers scream at each other and hammer down obsolete walls.
What do you not have? Equipped with post-its, paper, outlets, portable lights, staplers, shelves, chairs, boxes, ink, towels, water, and a printer, this remote square can host a day’s worth of research and writing. It is darker than you imagine and brighter than you imagine. It is very hot during the day.
Black Lotus by Lita Lepie
"Possibly one of the most artful colloquial narratives of the past decade."
- E. Cohen
"My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough..."
"...film noir in a book..."
"Awareness of race, gender and sexual orientation shades [Black Lotus] with great depth..."