One of the many joys of teaching.
Since they had stood next to each other for nearly 58 years, the buildings had become friends. Yeah, it sounds weird but here we are. They had names, like most statuesque buildings do. Sal was really the 15-floor Salvatore Tower and Hank was the squatter, 10 story O’Henry Building. It was sweet, really, how the first thing they did as they yawned into the morning hours was call affectionately to one another, like brothers sharing a bedroom.
“Hank,” Sal asked one morning as they both still sinking into their foundations, warming up their electrical systems,.
“Yeah?” Hank coughed. Lately he had become more aware of the feel of all those people inside him, walking around. It made it harder for him to wake up in the morning.
“I just think I was dreaming. Is that possible?” Sal’s voice had a quiver to it, and Hank knew he was sad about something, or nervous. As they aged, Sal had become a bit of a Nervous Nelly, especially since he knew his building held Important Offices and apartments of Important People.
“Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?” Hank answered, adjusting a bit as he felt the elevator shafts creaking inside of him.
“I don’t know. I just hope it was a dream, that’s all.”
“Well, what was it about?”
Sal was silent for a minute. “You.”
“Me?” Hank puffed up a bit, finally able to ignore the opening and closing of his doors.
“Yeah. That you were being torn down, turned into a parking lot. For me.” Sal’s voice shook softly as he tried not to cry.
“Aw, Sally, c’mon. I’ve been here for 100 years. They can’t tear me down. And we’ve been next to each other for nearly 60. Don’t you think they would’ve made a new parking lot for you by now, if that was their plan? It was just a dream.” Hank scoffed, but he wondered if there could be any truth to it. He was old, and though there was often protection in being a historic building, he knew he wasn’t one. And Sal did have a lot more traffic then he did, more people who needed to park their cars. But still, he was sure it was just a bad dream.
At the same moment, their wide window eyes gazed at the construction site down the street. The workers were just finishing up a new project, that began with tearing down their friend, the Mallory, in order to make some fancy new apartments. Poor old Malloy had never even seen it coming. One day, she was a small, yet majestic building adorned with turrets and granite gargoyles, and the next, a pile of dust and rubble, waiting to be rebuilt. They watched the construction trucks, the crew loading up, the new building standing still with no life inside of it. Life for buildings was won over time, so this one had none. Sal whimpered and Hank sighed.
“Just watch those trucks, Hank. Make sure they don’t come this way.”