My walk to the subway yesterday morning took me past our neighborhood park. It’s not just a park, it’s a “regional recreational facility” and as such our wonderful and efficient city government has taken it upon themselves to “improve” it for us by building a very large recreational complex which will include an indoor basketball court, rooms for classes and education, a weight room, and a swimming pool…that is if they ever get around to building it.
To start this process they first erected a very large sign. Six months later a roll-off dumpster arrived. Some construction equipment showed up several months later. Several weeks after that, on yesterday morning I discovered that the little brick field house that was a fixture of my childhood had been turned into nothing but a pile of bricks, shards of tin roof, and broken window glass. Gone forever was the smell of over-warm industrial paint, many layers thick over cinderblock walls. Gone forever was the leaky water fountain that, even though the water tasted a bit chalky, we’d suck at greedily in the summer until the clear liquid was little colder than our sun-burned skin.
When I look at brick, and glass, and windows, and roofs it implies permanence. In reality, all it takes is the will and what was once invincible is nothing more than dust.