By Abrahim Harb
44 years are uncounted for out of the 64 year history of this building.
She absolutely knows more than I do.
From the street, it's as if one of the windows is broken & the owner has yet to discover;
(She has a flashback to the one evening where her dog was perched at the top of the stairs like a gargoyle guarding a castle during a summer hangout.)
From the alley, you can see directly through to her childhood bedroom.
(She has a flashback to the one day where for the first time her dad told the story of how her parents met in an office, which years later would become her bedroom.)
The broken promises & the broken dreams & the unbroken promises & the unbroken dreams;
Long days & long nights & early mornings & short evenings;
Hopes & dreams of a child; hopes & dreams of a young adult; hopes & dreams of an adult;
They've all turned into a pile of broken bricks after 20 years -
& the hopes & dreams of a 30-something woman emerge from the broken bits of wood, glass & brick.
She emerges with her young child trailing behind her.
A door closes.
Then I hear a voice behind me.
"They demolished it yesterday."
I stay silent for a moment & don't turn around to see who it is.
"I know - my best friend & her dad were the last people to live here.
I was going to get them some bricks..."
I trail off & never finish my thoughts.
"Well, what are you waiting for, they own those bricks."
He walks up to the rubble without hesitation & begins to search.
I spot a perfect brown brick in the pile & silently move straight towards it.
The man notices & departs without exchanging any words, as if it was a brief encounter between friends at a coffin during a funeral.
I return to the same spot in the alley -
& stare at the pile of broken bricks while holding broken bricks in my hands.