Pausing, I turned to glance over my shoulder, squinting my eyes and surveying each shadow of the landscape. All caution had to be taken to ensure I hadn't been followed.
Retracing in my mind the path I had taken to this mystical setting, I recalled each twist and turn of my clandestine journey, making sure to double back on a number of occasions, traverse barely passable circuitous routes and continually monitor the rearview mirror as if it was a radar.
Now standing before the door, I couldn't help but pause before taking the final step of my journey to absorb the magnitude of what I was soon to experience.
The idea that such a massive global conspiracy could be pulled off and that I could be part of it produced such awe in the depths of my being.
My years in college, years of practicing the handshake, mastering the oath and memorizing the rituals, brought me to this very moment, the annual meeting of "the media."
Only a secret society of such wicked intent and disdain for ethics could unite a field of competing businesses and bring them together in collusion for one common goal.
The annual meeting was my first of what has come to be a long line of historic meetings of this closely guarded society. The meeting allows all of the coconspirators to rededicate ourselves to "the left" and to which sides and positions we will take in the coming year.
Just to be clear, that was sarcasm, and, no, despite popular belief there is no underground super secret conspiracy that bonds all members of the media.
It's no more preposterous than to suggest that the Falcons, Eagles and all others agreed to lose so that the Patriots would win the Super Bowl this past Sunday.
Still, in the past week alone, I've had friends, a priest and more speak of the mass conspiracy of "the media" as if it was a given.
When I accepted my first job as a reporter, I remember my dad saying with hesitation and worry in his voice that he hoped I wouldn't become a liberal. Joining a profession is not the same as joining a political party, religion or lifestyle.
That comment along with comments of the past week and past years of being a reporter pushed me to dispel the rumors of this conspiracy.
I can't help but recall the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer becomes a member of the Stonecutters, a secret society that enables members to, among other perks, bypass traffic jams on the freeway by taking a secret tunnel through a mountain.
At one point, Homer bursts into song with his fellow Stonecutters:
"Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
We do! We do!"
As a fan of the X Files, I can empathize with conspiracy theorists, but the theory that the media functions secretively as one conglomeration with one agenda can rest safely with the weather balloon out in Roswell, N.M.
Greg Gelpi covers education for the News Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (770) 478-5753 Ext. 247.