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Moonbase Alpha

moonbase photo © 2005 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

by Michael Helsem
Photographs by J R Compton

—otherwise known as Southside on Lamar, is located in a gi-normous complex which can most charitably be described as a “strong personality.” When i took a stroll through on Sunday, i found it open and mysteriously depopulated, like one of those megalithic civilizations that people just decide to abandon for no reason and melt back into the jungle after.

rr tracks  photo © 2005 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

I looked for art, i swear i did. But the evacuees must have taken it with them. (I did discover a rather large model train installation, poignantly sealed off behind glass. Some kind of parting message?)

Even as well lit as this one is, a maze of such scope is unsettling. Accompanied by many echoes and fearful of stumbling upon hidden torture chambers, i did not explore deeply.

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columns  photo © 2005 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. Where the trains used to come through the building. And there's a basement level below this.

I came to the conclusion that it was meant to seem unfinished, though. Just as young people are drawn to ruins, this could be viewed as a vague simulation of an aesthetic they might trendily embrace, given much more substantial incomes than is normal at that age, and the perversity to want to do it in Dallas after achieving so.

I completely failed to imagine any of the present inhabitants, apart from chromium skinned eyeless faces gliding soundlessly around the next corner.

loft  photo © 2005 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.

In spite of its core basic aura of a large junior high after school has let out for the summer, i believe this is a totally accurate forecasting of what living on the Moon will be like.

I guess that's worth something.

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Index of stories by Micheal Helsem

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