When I was a wee bairn, I remember exploring the sewer tunnels of our neighborhood, wanting to know where they all led. I’d take little bags of food and a flashlight and jump into the nearest manhole. I remember making my merry way through everything from enormous pipes that you could stand all the way up in while you walked through them, all the way down to fairly small ones that you had to crawl through to get to the next section. Sometimes water would be running through the pipes, sometimes not. I don’t remember ever wondering what would happen if the pipes suddenly became flooded with water, however. It’s just not something you think about when you’re a kid, I guess. Or perhaps it was just me.
I remember wanting to live in the sewers, and being elated when the TV show Beauty and the Beast came out because it was exactly the kind of underside/Morlock kind of existance that I always felt particularly drawn to. I wasn’t as swept away by the whole ‘actual romance’ of the plot – just the sets. I think I actually had a plan to run away and make a little home in the sewers at one point.
I remember loving those expeditions – having one particularly beautiful moment when a large tunnel came out at the edge of a large pond/lake thing over by the community center. I sat and watched the lake for a while before heading back into the tunnels.
Years later, I read Stephen King’s IT, and shuddered.