My community opened a new hospital a while back.
I live a few blocks from the old one. I chose this house for its proximity. For years I would crawl out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to go see a critical patient. I listened in the night for the helicopters and ambulance sirens, waiting for my pager to go off when I was on call. I remember the gentle sloping of the back hallway on the second floor, all of the nooks and crannies, smells, sounds.
They are all ghosts now, as the building stands silent and empty.
I have a photography fetish. I love looking at photos of derelict, rotting buildings, imagining all of the lives that have passed through them, and I wish I were brave enough to trespass and take my own pictures. I imagine what this place will look like in a few years….
Birth. Death. Sickness and health. Love. Hate.
My son was born here. My mother got her new knees here. Who remembers these things but me? The walls do.
Those memories fade along with the building and it makes me sad. Or am I mistaking sadness for something else?
A few decades from now there will be mold on the walls and ivy in the halls, and the place will crumble away just like me, becoming someone else’s fetish.