The Arrival of the Narrator into the Narrative, aka “The Katabasis”

I myself was a latecomer, fresh on the scene thanks to a Craigslist ad posted once upon a morning in the spring of 2013, says the Narrator. Sarah had taken a job at a university in town, and we needed a place to rent. By then, Shady had lost some of its fame. Much had changed. The garage behind the Easter house had already been torn down years before our arrival. All that remained was its stone foundation. And Mitch himself had moved away to nearby Kernersville. In all likelihood, then, the story of Drive-In Studio might have gone undetected, might have remained part of Shady’s secret history, hidden away, occulted by the passage of time, had it not been for Frank, our landlord: a goateed documentarian with a film degree from UNC School of the Arts, fixture of sorts in the local music scene, and amateur collector of fossils. Frank and some fellow students at UNCSA had been part of an artists’ collective that had squatted an old, deactivated meat-packing plant in the late 1990s, on what was then the edge of downtown. Through legal and financial machinations that, I admit, were never entirely clear to me, Frank and his fellow squatters had achieved the impossible. Despite the odds, they’d gained control of the building; they’d transformed it into some other kind of thing. There it stood, suddenly, teeth and claws gleaming: an art space and show venue called The Werehouse.

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