The sun was setting as I looked over the fluted columns of the old building. The roof beyond was burnt out and partially collapsed into the internal rib like roof beams. Tiles had spilt like brown and orange blood onto the concrete ground below. Baby buddlea bushes had started to grow high up in the cracks. Where industry had stood a hundred or less years ago, now desolation was growing and chaos had taken hold.
Walking past the blackened building I wondered what had caused the damage? Was it from a fire burning when a worker had left a machine to overheat. Or a fire caused by an electric fault? Perhaps some poor homeless person or a rowdy drunk had thrown aside a cigarette butt that had caused a conflagration. Had the fire brigade arrived late at night and fought flames until the dawn was casting a red glow across the smoking remains?
I will never know. But seeing the post industrial desolation, I wonder what this land, this brown, blighted place, will be used for in future. And will the ghosts of its workers approve ?
The steps were old concrete and brick. Like the ones they had at school all those years ago. When she was a child they would play tinker, taylor, soldier on them. You had to jump up or down from one step to another depending on what your friends shouted. She couldn’t remember exactly how it worked but it was fun . That must have been 50 years ago.
She had walked past these steps every day for months. The tangle of vegetation was getting worse. Today though, she had decided to climb them. There was an old grey wooden door at the top of them. She would knock on and see if anyone answered??
It was quiet on the steps, the traffic noise from the road seemed to have died down. A haze like a mirage floated in the air. She stood for a moment taking this in. Realising how steep the steps were. How flimsy the handrail. She knocked……
The ancients, they look on through time. They see the world now and remember what it was like then. They are in the gargoyles, in statues, in faces in stone. They are hidden where they could find space. They may be thousands of years old but they do not last forever. As age wears them the ancient spirit wears away too. Look at that old stone head on the corner of the wall. It’s spirit is washing away with every bit of grit the rain wears away. See that old stone face on the plinth? Hands rub its bald head and gradually it dwindles.
Ancient memories dwindle too. Now there are moments of sunshine seen six hundred years ago which will not last much longer. There a remembrance of a lost husband or wife that was once strong but now veiled. Ancients seeing the world now are amazed at the destruction and damage. Trees that they have lived with cur down in an instant. Buildings they became part of ripped apart and turned to rubble.
Now the ancients share with younger spirits. To be a homeless ancient is to gradually disperse into the air and blow away on the wind. Long forgotten, never to be seen again.
I was bought up in the 1960s so although I was there I don’t remember a lot about the Beatles – I was too young.
But even now after over 50 years if a Beatles song comes on the radio or TV I can pretty much sing along with the lyrics.
I remember hearing them, some of my favourites are:
Love me do
Can’t buy me love
Eight days a week
There are others but I’m useless at remembering names of songs!
I loved their harmony, I loved their funny ways, I loved their experimental music as they evolved.
I’m just watching the Ron Howard documentary about them and it’s bringing a few memories back but as I say because I was a child I missed anything about them on late night TV so I’m learning a lot from the documentary.
The old school walls were damp and the paint was peeling off them. There were holes where ceiling tiles had fallen down and sunshine had broken through the roof.
She walked between discarded chairs, the tables were stacked against the walls. At the front of the classroom stood one of those rotating chalkboards. Grey with layers of chalk.
She reached out and pulled on the join between the boards but the thing was jammed up, no movement.
She remembered the first day she had taught here. Registration followed by the history of the celts. Teaching about Boudicca and the ancient Britons.
Nowadays children didn’t come to school. They were all home schooled, isolated, plugged in. Teaching was easy. Link to the local computer by an imput in the cranium. Download all the information, sit in a chair and learn the curriculum.
She remembered the sweet feeling of imparting knowledge The look of wonder when a pupil understood a new concept. Ideas flying from lips to ears to brains.
No more, no enthusiasm, just imput, data, no fun.
She sighed, closed the door to the classroom. She walked home.
I don’t remember anything after Saturday afternoon?
Who are you?
Where am I?
So many questions, I remember going to the park for a walk, I can see in my minds eye the youth on a motorbike, then I forget…. Its gone.
Who are you? A nurse? Who are they? My parents…..?
What did I do to get here?
Hello, yes I feel OK, just taking my pulse? My blood pressure….
Yes so you are my doctor?
There was a boy on a motorbike, I can see him in my minds eye. Where was that?
I need to sleep. Dreaming, remembering, she sees the park, the ducks running for the bread she was feeding them. The motorbike comes through the park gate, along the path, speeding, roaring. Breaks and skids to avoid the ducks and hits her hard….
Waking, the memory fades, she sees time reverse, only now she’s further down the path. The ducks are still on the lake. The sun is shining on her face. Heat. Her face is hot…..
Who am I?
Why am I here? I remembered, but then I forgot.
I did it again today,
Forgot my phone.
I didn’t have it with me
I’d put it down..
My mind was elsewhere
Just not here.
So I put it down
That phone has a camera
A way of seeing
And recording my life…
To add to an album
Of happiness or horror.
But without my phone
I am no one
Only memories to remember…….